Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Finlandia's International School of Art and Design 2018 BFA Diploma Works Exhibition to open April 28

Abigail Tembreuil, Finlandia International School of Art and Design intermedia senior, prepares one of her diploma works for the exhibit opening Saturday, April 28, at the Finlandia University Gallery in Hancock. (Photos courtesy Finlandia University)

HANCOCK -- Finlandia University’s International School of Art and Design (ISAD) 2018 Bachelor of Fine Arts Diploma Works Exhibition is featured from April 28 to May 31, 2018, at the Finlandia University Gallery, located in the Finnish American Heritage Center in Hancock.

A reception for the artists will take place from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, April 28, at the gallery. The artists will be introduced at 7:20 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Zong Deng, graphic design senior, works on one of his pieces.

The artworks featured in the annual Diploma Works Exhibit represent the final body of student work for each graduating bachelor of fine arts (BFA) student. The works include intensive research projects, series of individual artworks, and design prototypes. A variety of media is represented, including drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramic design, textile design and graphic design.

William Thompson, ceramics senior, installs his ceramic piece.

The 2018 International School of Art and Design graduating seniors are Zong Deng (Graphic Design), Levi Grannis (Intermedia), Olivia Leukuma (Graphic Design), Taylor Ruotsala (Fiber and Fashion Design), Hannah Scott (Graphic Design), Mark Siminski (Graphic Design), Abigail Tembreull (Intermedia), William Thompson (Ceramics), Clancy Tunstall (Graphic Design), and Sara Williams (Intermedia).

Sunday, April 22, 2018

State Certified, secure electronic recycling returns to the Keweenaw

HOUGHTON -- The Copper Country Recycling Initiative (CCRI) -- in partnership with Michigan Tech, Goodwill Industries, and the cities of Hancock and Houghton -- has recently received funding from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for electronic waste recycling. Spring and fall collection events are planned for 2018, in addition to the development of two permanent collection sites in the area. 

The spring collection will be from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, May 4, and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 5, at Goodwill Industries at the airport. The following items are among those that will be accepted: cell phones, computer monitors, copy machines, cordless phones, fax machines, laptop computers, keyboards and mice, microwave ovens, printers, scanners, stereo equipment, televisions, and VCR and DVD players.

The CCRI  is committed to providing environmentally and socially conscious recycling services for your unwanted electronics. The Keweenaw electronic recycling events are in collaboration with Comprenew, a Grand Rapids recycling company that is now expanding to the Upper Peninsula and northern Wisconsin.*

Comprenew is a Michigan DEQ-inspected and nationally certified  facility. By working with a Michigan based company we are helping to create jobs for UP families. The company has a "no landfill" policy that is strictly enforced.**

Free film on electronic recycling to be shown April 30

CCRI, along with Portage Lake District Library and the Michigan Tech Center for Science and Environmental Outreach, will sponsor a free showing of the film Death by Design (2016) at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, April 30, at Portage Library. A discussion will follow the film, and a recycler of the year award will be presented. ($3 suggested donation)

We love and live on smartphones, tablets and laptops. By 2020, four billion people will have a personal computer. Five billion will own a mobile phone. But this revolution has a dark side. From factories in China, to high tech Silicon Valley, the film tells of environmental degradation, health tragedies, and the fast approaching tipping point between consumerism and sustainability.

* See: "Comprenew announces expansion into Upper Peninsula and northern Wisconsin."

** For a sample list of Comprenew's items acceptable for electronic recycling click here.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Rozsa Center to host two concerts, art exhibit opening this weekend

Michigan Tech's Choirs will present "Beyond the Veil" at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 20, at the Rozsa Center. (Photo courtesy Rozsa Center)

HOUGHTON -- Michigan Tech's Rozsa Center will offer art and music lovers three events featuring talent from the local community this Friday and Saturday, April 20 and 21.

Michigan Tech Choirs to present "Beyond the Veil" April 20

The Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts and Michigan Tech's Department of Visual and Performing Arts will present a concert by the Michigan Tech Choirs -- conScience: Michigan Tech Chamber Singers and the Michigan Tech Concert Choir at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 20, in the Rozsa Center.

According to Jared Anderson, chair, Visual and Performing Arts Department, and choirs director, "The choirs at Tech have been working hard to prepare a concert that includes a number of interesting themes. The title of the concert, 'Beyond the Veil,' refers to themes that seem to be opposites as if on two sides of a veil: love and loss, life and death, health and sickness, slavery and freedom, youth and old age. There will be something for everyone at the concert this Friday -- love songs, spirituals, folksongs, and sacred motets."

Tickets for "Beyond the Veil" are on sale now, $13 for adults, $5 for youth, and no charge for Michigan Tech students with the Experience Tech fee; tickets are available by phone at (906) 487-2073, online at, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex, or at the Rozsa Box Office the evening of the performance. Please note the Rozsa Box Office only opens two hours prior to performances.

"From There to Here": Opening Reception Friday, April 20

The Rozsa Center and the Department of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) invite the public to visit their semi-annual student showcase, "From There to Here," featuring works of art created by Michigan Tech students who are participating in Project Learning Lab, an innovative arts classroom based inside  Rozsa gallery b.

Work on display was created by students in Lisa Gordillo’s Traditional Sculpture, Advanced Sculpture, and 3D Design classes. Students from many campus disciplines are represented, including Materials Sciences, English, and Theatre Arts.

The exhibition continues through this Friday, April 20. A reception will be held from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 20, in Rozsa Gallery b. The reception is free and all are welcome.
Students in Traditional Sculpture study traditional ways of making art around the globe, including Guatemalan kites, Zimbabwe-Shona carving, and metal casting, with help from Michigan Tech’s department of Materials Sciences. Students in Advanced Sculpture are encouraged to work with the gallery’s architecture and to create large-scale installations in the gallery. Students in 3D Design have designed and built a tree house for a local, three-year old client.

Student artists represented: Shane Arnold, Rebecca Barkdoll, Jalen Beck, Jessica Boelcke, Alyssa Cinder, Scott Davison, Holly Eyrich, Charlie Heckel, Mads Howard, Aaron Kruzel, Alex Kuehn, Haylee Lakenen, Miles Lefevre, Dakota Lowrance, Michael Miller, Adam Mitchell, Evan Monko, Zack Nelson, Neal Nordstrom, Via Ouellette Ballas, Justin Pearl, Ted Smith, Matt Tascarella, Gabe Toczynski, Makenzi Wentela, Kitty Williams, and Amanda Wils.

For more information please contact Lisa Gordillo, Assistant Professor, Visual and Performing Arts, 906-487-3096,

Superior Wind Symphony to celebrate contemporary composers Saturday, April 21

The Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts and the Department of Visual and Performing Arts will present a concert by Michigan Tech's Superior Wind Symphony and Campus Concert Band, titled "Right Now," a celebration of music written by contemporary composers. They will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 21, in the Rozsa Center.

According to Michael Christianson, Michigan Tech director of bands, "The Superior Wind Symphony and Campus Concert Band combine once again for their year-end wind concert: 'Right Now!' -- the music of living composers. These 14 composers are people who walk among us and who you could conceivably meet. I have met five of them and performed with two of them. Two of them have been on this campus!! Two of them are jazz bassists! They range in age from 33 to 94 and write in a wide range of styles, so there is bound to be something you will love. Composers include: John Mackey, Shelley Hanson, Chris Brubeck, Eric Whitacre, Michael Daugherty, Fred Hersch, Rufus Reid, Esperanza Spalding, Radiohead, Bjork, Andrew Boysen, Jr., Tan Dun, and Sammy Nestico! Join us for a fresh and invigorating evening!"

Tickets for "Right Now" are on sale now, $13 for adults, $5 for youth, and no charge for Michigan Tech students with the Experience Tech fee; tickets are available by phone at (906) 487-2073, online at, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex, or at the Rozsa Box Office the evening of the performance. Please note the Rozsa Box Office only opens two hours prior to performances.

For more information please contact Mike Christianson at, 906-487-2825, or visit

(Inset photos courtesy Rozsa Center)

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Kathleen Heideman -- activist, artist, poet -- honored as Freshwater Hero

Kathleen Heideman of Marquette, Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition (UPEC) board member, active in UPEC's Mining Action Group, has been named a Freshwater Hero by Freshwater Future. (Photo © Christine Saari and courtesy UPEC)

MARQUETTE -- Last week, environmental group Freshwater Future announced the winners of their annual Freshwater Hero awards, which they "bestow upon unique and pioneering water protectors in the region."

Among the recipients of this year’s award is Kathleen M. Heideman of Marquette -- writer, artist, and environmentalist -- who’s been defending clean water and wild places from the dangers of sulfide mining for years. Heideman serves on the board of the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition (UPEC) and works with the UPEC Mining Action Group, previously known as Save the Wild U.P.

Freshwater Future has supported Heideman and her colleagues for their work related to the Aquila Back Forty project and the Eagle Mine and for their efforts to educate the public about the hazards of sulfide mining.

Freshwater Future also recognizes Heideman's artistic talents: "Kathleen’s stewardship and sense of place is evident in her paintings and her poetry, and she incorporates her experiences with water into media that are accessible to a much broader population."*

Freshwater Future recognizes the power of citizen activism, noting that "in every community around the Great Lakes, you’ll find thoughtful, committed residents taking action to protect our lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands, shorelines, and drinking water. Small, individual actions can make a big difference, and at Freshwater Future we’re inspired by those who devote their time to making things better. It’s this collective involvement that helps keep our waters safe, clean, and accessible to all."

Freshwater Future is a watershed-wide organization dedicated to supporting the needs of community-based groups such as UPEC and the Mining Action Group, who work to protect Great Lakes land and water resources.**

Each year, Freshwater Future awards recognize "a handful of the good people doing good things to protect the water in our Great Lakes region. From social justice activists in Detroit, Michigan, to tribal leaders on the remote shores of Lake Superior, every one of these Freshwater Heroes is not only working to safeguard their water, but also caring for the people in their communities and serving as an inspiration to us all."

UPEC President Horst Schmidt notes Heideman's hard work in environmental protection.

"I applaud Kathleen’s diligent efforts, working along with other talented individuals in the Mining Action Group," Schmidt said. "She urges us to work collaboratively and stay vigilant. She understands that what we have up here are not merely natural resources, but waters that are the wild and sustaining essence of our lives."

Heideman among Marquette poets to launch new book at Portage Library April 17

In addition to her activism, Heideman finds time for art, photography and poetry. She is a member of the Marquette Poets Circle, who will celebrate the launch of their anthology Maiden Voyage with readings from the book from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. this Tuesday, April 17, at the Portage Lake District Library in Houghton. Along with Kathleen Heideman, poets Beverly Matherne, Jesse Koenig, Janeen Rastall, John Taylor, and Richard Rastall will read from their poems, offering a great variety of themes and images.


* Click here to read more about Kathleen Heideman and her work.

** Click here to read more about Freshwater Future's Freshwater Heroes.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Richard J. Koubek elected Michigan Tech’s next president

Michigan Tech President-Elect Richard Koubek and his wife, Valerie Koubek. (Photo courtesy Michigan Tech University)

By Stefanie Sidortsova, Michigan Tech Director of Communications and Public Relations
Published 10:15 a.m., April 13, 2018, on Michigan Tech News
Reprinted in part with permission

President-elect Richard J. Koubek will lead the University as its 10th president, the Michigan Technological University Board of Trustees announced today.

Koubek, who is executive vice president and provost of Louisiana State University, begins his tenure at Michigan Tech on July 1, 2018. He succeeds Glenn D. Mroz, who has served as president since 2004 and is stepping down to rejoin the University’s faculty.

"Rick Koubek is a man of unquestioned integrity, character and leadership," said Terry Woychowski, chair of the Michigan Tech Board of Trustees. "He has a profound and passionate vision of the role Michigan Tech will play in our nation's prosperity, and the betterment of the world, as he leads this historic University in developing and delivering -- on a global scale -- the solutions to some of society's most vexing challenges. I believe that Dr. Koubek was born for this time, this place and this position."

The Board of Trustees selected Koubek from a pool of four semi-finalist candidates brought forward for consideration by a 14-member Presidential Search Committee (PSC) that included student, faculty, staff, alumni and community representatives....
Click here to read this full story on Michigan Tech News.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Tech Theatre to present "A Midsummer Night’s Dream" April 12-14 at Rozsa

Tech Theatre will present Shakespeare's magical comedy, A Midsummer Night's Dream, this Thursday through Saturday, April 12-14, at the Rozsa Center. (Photo courtesy Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts)

HOUGHTON -- Love abounds! Trickery and magic reveal lovers and fools. A Midsummer Night’s Dream brings together some of Shakespeare’s most memorable characters in a romantic and hilarious adventure. Tech Theatre presents the classic Shakespeare comedy of love, magic, and mixed signals, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, for three nights at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. The play will run Thursday, April 12, through Saturday, April 14, at 7:30 p.m. each night.

Lysander loves Hermia, but Hermia loves Demetrius. The trouble is Demetrius loves Helena who believes she loves Lysander! This is what happens when a love potion gets into the wrong hands. How does it end? Happily, of course! But the mad romantic romp won’t end until magic restores the lovers’ senses. In Shakespeare’s words:
"Ay me! for aught that I could ever read,
Could ever hear by tale or history,
The course of true love never did run smooth."

Play director Patricial Helsel describes the production: "A Midsummer Night’s Dream features actors from all across campus, as well as community and staff members. Christopher Schwartz, lecturer in the Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology Department, plays Oberon, the King of the Fairies. Mark Wilcox, news writer for University Marketing and Communications, joins the cast as Quince, leading the comedic troupe of artisans. The play features original music created by instructor Libby Meyer and student Devin Deal. The fairies sing beautiful harmonies and the show has lovely incidental music composed by Deal. The forest comes alive with a robust ambiance created by student sound designer Samantha Palumbo. A Midsummer Night’s Dream is sure to delight with spectacle, sound, love, and humor."

Tickets for A Midusmmer Night's Dream are on sale now, $15 for adults, $6 for youth, and no charge for Michigan Tech students with the Experience Tech fee. Tickets are available by phone at (906) 487-2073, online at, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex, or at the Rozsa Box Office the evening of the performance. Please note the Rozsa Box Office is only open one hour prior to performances.

Saturday, April 07, 2018

Keweenaw March for Our Lives: videos, photos

By Michele Bourdieu
Videos by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now
Photos by Allan Baker and guest photographers

Participants in the March 24, 2018, Keweenaw March for Our Lives against gun violence gather in Houghton before marching across the Portage Lift Bridge to Hancock and back. (Photo by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now)

HOUGHTON-HANCOCK -- On Saturday, March 24, local participants of all ages gathered for the Keweenaw March for Our Lives against gun violence, crossing the Portage Lake Lift Bridge from Houghton to Hancock and back to show support for changing gun laws to protect our students and schools.

"I counted over 200 people at the Keweenaw March for Our Lives," said organzier Erin Burkett, Michigan Tech PhD Student in Environmental and Energy Policy.

During the Keweenaw March for Our Lives, organizer Erin Burkett, right, Michigan Tech PhD Student in Environmental and Energy Policy, is joined by Hongmei Lu, center, and Sophia Ford --fellow graduate students in Michigan Tech's Department of Social Sciences. (Photo © Hongmei Lu and courtesy Erin Burkett)

This march was held in solidarity with the March for Our Lives that took place in Washington, D.C., and in many other cities that same day.

The event was created, inspired, and led by students across the country who have been speaking out and acting to stop the epidemic of school shootings. Students, teachers, families, and allies are demanding better gun regulations. An average of 23 children are shot every day. School shootings are now the third leading cause of death for American children.


Preceding the Keweenaw march, participants gathered near the bridge in Houghton to hear some brief comments by organizers. Allan Baker captured these introductions on video:

Erin Burkett, organizer of the March 24, 2018, Keweenaw March For Our Lives, welcomes participants gathered to march across the Portage Lift Bridge from Houghton to Hancock to protest gun violence. (Videos by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now)

Preceding the march, Barry Fink of the League of Women Voters reminds participants of the importance of voting.

Ilya Holden, Houghton High School student, speaks about gun violence in the U.S. and reasons for the Keweenaw March for Our Lives.

PHOTOS: New slide show

More than 200 participants in the Keweenaw March for Our Lives form a long line as they head across the west side of the Portage Lift Bridge toward Hancock. (Photo by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now)

Click here to see our new slide show, Keweenaw March for Our Lives: Houghton, Michigan, with photos by Allan Baker and several guest photographers. Click on the lead photo and follow arrows to the right for the slide show. Click on info icon for captions and photo credits.

For more information on the March for Our Lives and ways you can join the movement, click here.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

County Road 595 Appeal concludes

This wetland in the proposed CR 595 corridor is one of many sensitive areas that would be impacted if the proposed road were built. (Keweenaw Now file photo © and courtesy Jessica Koski)

By Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve
Posted on their Web site March 23, 2018*
Reprinted here with permission.

MARQUETTE -- The battle between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Marquette County Road Commission concluded on March 20th in the U.S. 6th Circuit Court over County Road 595, the proposed road leading from Eagle Mine to Humboldt Mill. For those who need a refresher, the permit for CR 595 was submitted to the MDEQ (Michigan Department of Environmental Quality) in 2012 and as part of the review process, the U.S. EPA issued objections to the project based on the Clean Water Act. Long story short, the MDEQ did not issue the permit and the process then transferred to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The Road Commission then decided to file suit against the U.S. EPA with the crux of the lawsuit over the their perception that the EPA’s objections were "arbitrary and capricious" and that they "exceeded their authority" in the process. After review in District court, it was determined that the court cannot even decide on the case because, according to the Administrative Procedures Act, you cannot bring suit against a decision unless it is considered a "final agency decision." The case was dismissed.

The Road Commission then teamed up with a lobbying group called Pacific Legal Fund, who paint themselves as the champions of the little guy against the Goliath of government. They decided to appeal the decision. Oral argument transpired in Circuit court, from which you can read transcripts thanks to journalist Louis Galdieri.** Ultimately Circuit court agreed and affirmed the District court’s decision. The EPA’s objections were not final agency decisions and therefore not reviewable because the permitting process could have continued, but it was abandoned by the Road Commission.

It remains to be seen what the next step is for the Road Commission. In an interview, Road Commission manager Jim Iwanicki said that they have options including asking the court to look at specific things again, proceeding with the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, or dropping the case. It is also a possibility that the permitting process could continue under the authority of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. While the road isn’t going to be built anytime soon, the future is still unclear. The Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve still strongly opposes building a mine road through this remote and wild area. Enough damage has already occurred from mining related activities and we don’t need anymore!

* Click here for this and other articles by the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.

** Click here to read Louis Galdieri's series of articles on the CR 595 controversy.