Thursday, February 14, 2008

"Miniature Show" to open at Miskwabik Ed Gray Gallery in Calumet Feb. 15.

CALUMET -- An opening for the "Miniature Show" art exhibit will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 15, at the new Miskwabik Ed Gray Gallery, 109 Fifth Street, Calumet. This juried exhibit includes entries from about 50 local Upper Peninsula artists. It will run through March 16, 2008.

A few of the miniature art works in the Miskwabik Ed Gray Gallery "Miniature Show" are pictured here. All entries are smaller than 5" x 5" x 5". (Photo © 2008 Ed Gray. Reprinted with permission.)

"We have 149 entries," said gallery owner Ed Gray. "It's a great show."

Refreshments will be served during the opening on Friday. The Conglomerate Café is catering the show with "miniature" delectables.

Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Visit the Ed Gray Gallery Web site for a listing of future exhibits.

Candlelight Vigil Feb. 14 to honor Yellow Dog Plains, oppose DNR decision

MARQUETTE -- Local groups opposing the recent decision by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to lease 120 acres of public land to Kennecott Minerals are planning a candlelight vigil in honor of the Yellow Dog Plains, where Kennecott plans to put a nickel and copper sulfide mine.

The Salmon Trout River flows through an area proposed for Kennecott Minerals' Eagle Project sulfide mine. The river contains a rare population of Coaster Brook Trout. (Photo © 2007 and courtesy lexup at Save the Wild UP)

The vigil will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Valentine's Day -- Thursday, Feb. 14 -- at Harlow Park, off Washington St. in Marquette.

Please remember to dress for the cold. If you do not have a candle, one will be provided.

The event is sponsored by Yellow Dog Summer, Northwoods Wilderness Recovery, Keepers of the Water, and Save the Wild UP.

On Thursday, Feb. 7, 2008, at a Natural Resources Commission (NRC) meeting in Lansing, DNR Director Rebecca Humphries granted final approval of the Kennecott Eagle Minerals Company's (KEMC) Mining and Reclamation Plan and Land Use Lease, but with stipulations that Kennecott cannot break ground until all contested cases have concluded.

KEMC was seeking to construct surface facilities for their projected sulfide mining operation on 120 acres of state-owned property on the Yellow Dog Plains in northwestern Marquette County. The Director's decision came one month after a refusal to grant Kennecott's lease because of a failure to provide information on a number of critical questions.

Sufficient information is still lacking. Kennecott has failed to address subsidence concerns and leak prevention. These failures, aided by the State's inadequate monitoring fees (only $4,000 a year), leave the State of Michigan vulnerable to pollution and economic burdens.

According to Michelle Halley, attorney for the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), the amount set aside for monitoring will not cover costs of the most basic of water quality testing, collecting samples and on-site inspections.

"Experts tell us that this project is still fatally flawed, making the DNR land-lease approval even more appalling," Halley said. "The lease will leave the DNR and Michigan taxpayers vulnerable to bearing clean-up costs from pollution, and it would put the DNR in the inappropriate role of facilitating a mining district in the U.P."

Cynthia Pryor, executive director of the Yellowdog Watershed Preserve, also expressed her disappointment with the DNR decision.

"It is unfortunate that the DNR has forgotten the premise for which it was formed -- to protect and conserve our natural resources for use by the public. This decision turns state forest lands into an industrial outlet and our region into a paradise lost," she said.

Kennecott still has to obtain an underground injection permit from the Environmental Protection Agency.* Meanwhile lawsuits and contested cases are on-going in regards to Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) permits related to the Eagle Project. In addition, NWF and other concerned citizen groups plan to mount a legal challenge to the DNR lease approval.**

* Read more about how the public can express views on the EPA federal permit requirements.

** Read the entire NWF press release.

Editor's Note: This information is from Save the Wild UP. Learn more about sulfide mining on their Web site.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Sons of Norway, ski club to co-sponsor "Barnelopet" family ski event Feb. 16

HANCOCK -- Members of the Sons of Norway Lodge 5-620 will sponsor a Barnelopet children’s cross country ski event from 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon Saturday, Feb. 16, at the Maasto Hiihto cross country ski trails, Hancock.

The event is open to youth through age 13. Registration begins at 10 a.m. Saturday. The entry fee is $5.00 for one skier and $10.00 for a family of two or more. Parents are encouraged to ski with their children.

The Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club (KNSC), co-sponsor of this new children’s ski event, will lay 1 km, 2 km, and 4 km ski tracks especially for the day. Skiers can "skate" or "stride" any one of the three courses.

Volunteers are needed to help. Volunteers will meet at 6:30 p.m. this Thursday, Feb. 14, at the Chalet at the Fair Grounds (Driving Park). Call Wayne Stordahl for details on volunteering or racing at 482-0292.

The first fifty children who finish their event will receive a Sons of Norway Olympic-style enameled medallion. The kids will also be treated to cookies and hot chocolate. The KNSC will be selling lunch at the Maasto Hiihto ski chalet, and hot drinks and soup will be available.

A registration form and more information can be found at

Monday, February 11, 2008

Winter Carnival 2008: more photos ...

HOUGHTON -- Keweenaw Now captured these photos of Winter Carnival's "Frightful Creatures with Chilling Features" on Thursday and Friday, Feb. 7 and 8. Click on the photos for larger versions.

Phi Kappa Tau's "Van Helsing Calms the Hysteria in Transylvania," located in Hancock, took first prize in the fraternity division of the snow statue competition. (Photo © 2008 Gustavo Bourdieu)

The finely crafted details of Phi Kappa Tau's scene from tales of Dracula included several icy bats like this one. (Photo © 2008 Gustavo Bourdieu)

Another fine detail in ice was this candelabra in the center of the scene. (Photo © 2008 Gustavo Bourdieu)*

Frankenstein works at his lab table as his monster creation awakens in the background of this winning scene by Alpha Gamma Delta, "Frankenstein's Creature From Long Ago Comes Alive Again in Snow," which took first place in the women's group division. It is in front of the Walker Arts and Humanities Center on the MTU campus. (Photo © 2008 Gustavo Bourdieu)

Next to the Walker building a slippery broomball game draws spectators. (Photo © 2008 Gustavo Bourdieu)

"Under the Sea, Out of the Snow, Evil Ursula Reigns in the Ocean Below," created by students of West Wadsworth Residence Hall, took a fourth place in that category. (Photo © 2008 Gustavo Bourdieu)

Delta Sigma Phi took second place in the fraternity division for their grand-scale "Nightmares Consume a Child's Room." (Photo © 2008 Gustavo Bourdieu)

Especially notable among the details of the "Nightmares" sculpture are the chains of ice, pictured here in the foreground and also on the creature with icy horns. (Photo © 2008 Gustavo Bourdieu)

A rocking horse of ice in the "Nightmares" sculpture steals the show. (Photo © 2008 Gustavo Bourdieu)

The Mu Beta Psi music fraternity won first place in the on-campus one-nighter competition with this snowy musical group in front of the library. (Photo © 2008 Michele Bourdieu)

The Keweenaw's mysterious Paulding Light inspired this creation by Fair Warning / Incognito (men's residences in East Wadsworth Hall). It took 6th place among the university residence one-nighters. (Photo © 2008 Michele Bourdieu)

The Bastille (men's residence in East McNair Hall) took second place in the university one-nighter competition with their scene of Old English lore, "Beowulf's slice slays a Sea Beast of ice." (Photo © 2008 Michele Bourdieu)

Carnival visitors enjoy a dog sled ride on campus Friday afternoon. (Photo © 2008 Gustavo Bourdieu)

* Editor's Note:
See more photos of Phi Kappa Tau's winning snow scene in Hancock in our Feb. 8 article.