Saturday, June 18, 2011

They're off! Keweenaw Chain Drive Race begins ...

HANCOCK -- Racers in the 2011 Keweenaw Chain Drive Mountain Bike Race head across the Portage Lift Bridge this morning, Saturday, June 18, on their way to the challenging Maasto Hiihto - Churning Rapids Trails in Hancock.



It's a windy, but comfortably cool morning on June 18, 2011, for the start of the Keweenaw Chain Drive mountain bike races. (Video clip by Keweenaw Now)

Carnegie Museum to offer "bridge" event June 18

"Building Bridges," is an exhibit at the Carnegie Museum in Houghton. Stop in between noon and 4 p.m. June 18 for a special event. Click on photos for larger versions. (Photos by Keweenaw Now)

HOUGHTON -- The Carnegie Museum in Houghton is offering a special event for Bridgefest from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 18. Stop by and view their exhibit, "Golden Anniversary of the Portage Lift Bridge," a brief history of the bridges that have crossed the Portage, and "Building Bridges" a hands-on look at engineering bridges. Then try your hand at building a bridge with spaghetti and marshmallows!

Kids, young and old, have a chance to try building bridges at the Carnegie Museum.

Other Exhibits at Carnegie Museum

Another current exhibit,"REMEMBER ME - Photos and Letters from WWII Soldiers to a Laurium Barkeep," opened on Saturday, June 11, with a reception at the Carnegie during the Houghton Spring Art and Music Festival.

Marshall Wickstrom of Laurium lent the exhibit of photos and letters from soldiers who wrote to A.B. Quello, his uncle, owner of the Board of Trade Tavern, a Laurium bar that closed in 1987.

Elise Nelson (left), Carnegie Museum curator, chats with Joanne Thomas of Allouez during the June 11 opening of the "REMEMBER ME" exhibit of photos and letters from World War II servicemen.

"We ended up with the property," Wickstrom said. "As we were cleaning out the basement, we found these pictures and letters and saved them."

Photos and letters from World War II soldiers and sailors in the Carnegie exhibit include this facsimile of a letter written on toilet paper (center).

Wickstrom and his sister, Mavis McKinstry, have offered the collection of photos and letters to the Keweenaw National Historical Park (National Park Service). They are hoping to give the collection to a place where it will be preserved.

"It's history," Wickstrom said.

Marshall Wickstrom, right, co-owner of the World War II photos and letters found in his uncle's tavern in Laurium, chats with Jeremiah Mason of Keweenaw National Historical Park and Elise Nelson, Carnegie Museum curator, about the list of letters on the wall, intended to help in identification of the photos.

Jeremiah Mason of Keweenaw National Historical Park attended opening of the exhibit.

"This is an awesome exhibit," Mason said. "It looks great!"

This display explains the censoring of letters from men and women in the Armed Forces during World War II.

Elise Nelson, Carnegie Museum curator, said the exhibit includes a selection of letters and 132 photos -- displayed with the hope that some visitors may be able to identify people in the photos or letters, possibly family members.

"They have the option to get a copy if they choose," Wickstrom said.

Nelson noted at least one visitor on June 11 identified a photo of an uncle, Tommy Lampela. Letters from his brother are in the collection.

A visitor to the Carnegie Museum on June 11 identified the soldier in this photo as an uncle, Tommy Lampela.

Letter written to A. B. Quello in 1945.

Two other exhibits are also still on display at the Carnegie Museum: "People, Place and Time: Michigan's Copper Country Through the Lens of J.W. Nara," a traveling exhibit by the Michigan Tech Archives, and "A Stroll Down Shelden Aveue: Commercial Development of Downtown Hougton 1852-1910."

This photo of farm families is part of "People, Place and Time: Michigan's Copper Country Through the Lens of J.W. Nara," a traveling exhibit by the Michigan Tech Archives, now at the Carnegie Museum.

Located on the corner of Huron and Montezuma in historic downtown Houghton, the Carnegie Museum is open Tuesdays and Thursdays noon - 5 and Saturdays noon - 4. Parking is available behind the building or in the City lot across Montezuma Avenue. Free admission. Visit them on Facebook for more updates on exhibits, events, and activities.

Friday, June 17, 2011

From Peaceful Uprising: Tim DeChristopher's Sentencing delayed

SALT LAKE CITY -- 10 days prior to Tim DeChristopher's scheduled Sentencing on June 23rd, Judge Dee Benson issued another last-minute delay and rescheduled the date of Sentencing to July 26, 2011. Benson's delay made it clear that he is desperate to avoid public accountability for the persecution of peaceful climate justice activist Tim DeChristopher.

Tim by Daphne Hougard. (Press Photo from peacefuluprising.org)

The change was made soon after Peaceful Uprising's announcement that there would be nationwide solidarity actions on June 23rd. It is another attempt to defeat citizen organizing, and it must not succeed. Peaceful Uprising will continue with planned actions with minor changes on June 23rd, and an even bigger plan for July 26th.

Click here to learn more ...

Senate Committee on Armed Services completes markup of National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Committee on Armed Services, announced today that the committee has completed its markup of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2012. The bill authorizes funding for the Department of Defense (DOD) and the national security programs of the Department of Energy (DOE). The committee approved the bill unanimously on Thursday, June 16, 2011. It now goes to the full Senate for consideration.

"For the 50th consecutive year, the committee has reported out a bill that supports the men and women of the armed forces and their families and provides them with the resources, training, and equipment they need to accomplish their missions," Levin said. "In this time of fiscal problems for our nation, I am pleased that we were able to support our troops and their families while finding savings of more than $6 billion. I want to commend Sen. McCain for his support throughout the markup process and for his help in producing this bipartisan bill that was reported out with the unanimous vote of our members."

"The bill contains a bipartisan compromise provision regarding detainee matters that provides a statutory basis for the detention of individuals captured in the course of hostilities conducted pursuant to the Authorization for the Use of Military Force and deals with other important matters relating to such detainees," Levin added. "The bill contains a unique requirement that the low-rate initial procurement contract for the fiscal year 2011 lot of the Joint Strike Fighter (LRIP-5) program must be a fixed price contract and the contract must require the contractor to absorb 100 percent of costs above the target cost."

Visit Sen. Levin's Web site for highlights and details of the bill.

Friends of Portage Library to hold book sale June 18

HOUGHTON -- The Friends of the Portage Lake District Library invite everyone to their Book Sale from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 18, in the library’s community room. New and gently used books will be sold to raise money for library projects and materials that the Friends provide.

Adult and children’s hardcover books will sell for $2 and paperbacks for $1. A half price sale will begin at 1 p.m.

Projects that the Friends of the Library have done include buying books and other materials, furniture, and the Children’s Listening Center. Information on how to become involved with the Friends will be available at the book sale.

For more information, please call the library at 482-4570 or visit www.pldl.org.

Arts Center to host Community Poetry Reading June 17

HANCOCK -- The Copper Country Community Arts Center will host a Community Poetry Reading at 6 p.m. Friday, June 17. Bring a poem to read or stop by during BridgeFest to listen to our local poets and writers!

The Copper Country Community Arts Center is located at 126 Quincy Street in Hancock. Call 482-2333 for more information.

"Music on the Menu" returns to Portage Library June 17

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library invites everyone to bring a lunch and enjoy "Music on the Menu," an outdoor series of events held on the dock outside the library.

The Kivajat Dancers, under the direction of Kay Seppala, will perform traditional Finnish folk dances from noon to 1 p.m. on Friday, June 17.

The Kivajat Dancers began in the fall of 2004. Sponsored by the Finnish American Heritage Center at Finlandia University and the Finnish Theme Committee of the City of Hancock, children ages 7 - 14 learn the dances and perform in colorful costumes funded by a grant from Finlandia Foundation International.

The children performed for the President of Finland, Tarja Halonen, at FinnFest 2008 in Duluth; and they have danced in festivals in Finland, Canada, Minnesota, and Michigan. Translated, Kivajat means the "Merry Makers."

Everyone is invited to eat and relax during the lunch hour while enjoying this performance. In the event of bad weather, the program will be held in the community room.

This event is part of the library’s Summer Reading Program and is free and open to all. For more information, please call the library at 482-4570 or visit www.pldl.org.

Finlandia Upward Bound students to hold car wash, hot dog sale June 17

HANCOCK -- The 33 TRiO Upward Bound (UB) students taking part in this summer’s five-week "mock college experience" at Finlandia University are planning two fundraisers beginning today, June 17.

The UB students will hold a car wash and hot dog sale from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, June 17, in the parking lot behind Finlandia’s Old Main building, 601 Quincy Street, Hancock.

And Tuesday, July 5, from 6 p.m.to 8 p.m., the youth will collect donations of returnable cans and bottles in neighborhoods throughout Hancock and Houghton.

The funds raised will help offset the costs of a one-week educational and cultural trip to Chicago at the conclusion of the summer program. While in Chicago, the students will tour Chicago State University, attend a Broadway show, visit the Museum of Science and Industry, Lincoln Park Zoo, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, and participate in a theatre workshop.

For more than two decades, the month-long, on-campus experience for area high school students has been a component of Finlandia’s year-round Upward Bound program, which is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The summer residential program is intended to help prepare the youth for academic success and accustom them to the responsibilities of being on their own.

For additional information, or for arrangements to drop off or pick-up returnable cans and bottles, call 906-487-7343.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Residents go door-to-door to inform voters of Huuki's cuts to education

By Michele Bourdieu, with additional information from We Are the People*

HOUGHTON -- Union representatives and concerned citizens went door-to-door in Hancock and Houghton on Wednesday, June 15, to tell residents about Rep. Matt Huuki’s (R-Atlantic Mine) votes to cut $500 million from local K-12 schools (about $900 million from the state school aid fund) and raise taxes on seniors’ pensions by over $330 million.

Canvassers in Houghton prepare to take information to local residents about State Rep. Matt Huuki's vote to cut education and tax seniors' pensions. Pictured here on June 15, 2011, are, from left, John Kleiber of Gladstone, business representative for the Bricklayers and Allied Craft Workers Local 9 of Michigan; Brian Kerrigan of Marquette, Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters, Local 1510; Pete Prochnow of Appleton, Wis., representing Iron Workers Local 8 (Marquette); Allan Baker of Houghton, realtor; Gary McDowell of Rudyard, former Democratic First District Congressional candidate and former 107th District state representative; and Nathan Nakkula of Mohawk, marketing representative for Laborers Local 1329. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

Gary McDowell, former Democratic candidate for the US Congress and former state representative, drove all the way from Sault Ste. Marie to Houghton to help organize a group of canvassers who volunteered to take information about Rep. Huuki's vote to targeted residences (of people identified as union members and Democrats) in Hancock and Houghton.

McDowell distributed a flyer with information about Matt Huuki's recent budget vote that cuts funds from education to give tax breaks to rich corporations.

Canvassers distributed this flyer about State Rep. Matt Huuki's vote to cut education funding in Michigan to residents in Hancock and Houghton today, June 15. Click on image for larger version. (Flyer courtesy We Are the People)

"He (Huuki) said he was not going to cut education," McDowell said. "Then he and (State Senator) Tom Casperson both voted to cut $900 million from the school aid fund to give tax breaks to corporations. Casperson's was the deciding vote!"

McDowell noted the State of Michigan's school aid fund had grown and these cuts actually prevented a potential increase in funding per student.

"Instead of a $250-$300 increase per student, the schools are facing a $300 - $400 decrease per student," he said. "When we're losing programs and teachers, schools are going to be forced to close."

Hancock and Ewen Trout Creek school districts, in fact, are on a critical list of schools that could be taken over by one of Gov. Rick Snyder's Emergency Financial Managers (EFMs).**

The local canvass was part of an action organized by We Are the People, a statewide coalition of teachers, students and seniors fighting to protect middle-class Michigan families, according to Zack Pohl, spokesman for We Are the People.

"Matt Huuki said he’d fight for U.P. jobs, but instead he voted to slash education and raise taxes on seniors to give rich CEOs a $1.8 billion tax break with no guarantee of future job growth," Pohl said. "It’s time for Lansing politicians like Matt Huuki to stop the power struggles and start working together to create jobs for working families."

McDowell said this local canvass was organized by the Carpenters and Operating Engineers trade unions.

Brian Kerrigan of Marquette, representing the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters, specifically Local 1510, joined the group of canvassers in Houghton Wednesday. He said the canvass would be an ongoing effort to inform citizens in both residential and business areas.

"We're probably going to canvass each district and then come back again to re-canvass," Kerrigan said. "We're going to send everyone this message eventually."

The canvassers are trying to elicit a reaction from voters by informing them about how their representatives voted and the effects those votes will have on education and on pensions, Kerrigan explained.

"We just want to get the word out. People need to be informed about what's going on," Kerrigan said. "How they want to act on that is up to them."

McDowell added, "We're trying to inform the voters that the votes Mr. Huuki has been taking are detrimental to our children's education -- which every politician, including Mr. Huuki, said was their first priority."

Pohl noted Matt Huuki said he "believes that education is extremely important." Huuki also signed a pledge to "oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase
taxes."

"Like a typical politician, it’s clear Matt Huuki isn’t interested in keeping his word or listening to the will of the people in his district who overwhelmingly oppose these education cuts and higher taxes," said Pohl. "If Matt Huuki wants to keep his job next year, he needs to start working to create jobs for working and middle class families."

Over the past month, local workers and residents have gone door-to-door in six state House districts to discuss state politicians’ recent votes to cut education and slash
unemployment benefits, including the districts of: Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan), Paul Scott (R-Grand Blanc), Pat Somerville (R-Huron Township), Andrea LaFontaine (R-Richmond) and Rick Olson (R-York Township). More community activities are planned in legislators’ districts throughout the summer.

Notes:

* We Are the People is a diverse coalition of students, seniors, workers, families and organizations fighting to protect Michigan's middle class. Click here to visit their Web site.

** Read about EFMs in our May 12, 2011, article, "EFMs, schools concern residents at April Town Hall with Casperson, Huuki," and our May 15, 2011, article, "Local teachers, union members rally for schools."

Early registration for Chain Drive races is tonight, June 15, in Hancock

Keweenaw Chain Drive participants cross the Portage Lift Bridge on their way to the Maasto Hiihto / Churning Rapids Trails in Hancock. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

HANCOCK -- Early check-in / registration for the Portage Health Keweenaw Chain Drive Festival 16- and 32-Mile Races will be available from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. tonight, Wednesday, June 15, at 1102 Ethel Ave. in Hancock (Corner across from Keweenaw Co-op). This is a chance to pickup your bib/swag bag early or register if you haven't already.

The Keweenaw Chain Drive Festival mountain bike race on Saturday, June 18, includes 16- and 32-mile point-to-point cross-country distance races on the Maasto Hiihto / Churning Rapids Trails in Hancock. The course includes miles of single track and lots of elevation change. Distance events will begin with a 10 a.m. roll-out at the Magnuson Hotel - Franklin Square Inn, at the east end of Shelden Avenue in downtown Houghton. The finish will be at the Portage Health parking lot in Hancock. Awards will be given at the finish area at 2:30 p.m.

Thank you for checking in early because it helps relieve some of the pressure of registration on Friday/Saturday. It also helps you avoid the chaos of Friday's parade and/or gives you less to do on Saturday morning.

The Cross County Sports pre-ride of the 16-mile course starts at 6:30 p.m. tonight, Wednesday, from the bottom of Cemetery Hill on M203. Stop by after your ride!

Kids line up for the 2010 Junior Chain Drive at Portage Health. (Keweenaw Now file photo © 2010 Kate Flynn)

The Junior Chain Drive Registration is on Saturday only from 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. at Portage Health. The Junior Chain Drive race, for youth 13 and under, kicks off at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, June 18, at the Portage Health System campus in Hancock.

Click here for online registration. Click here for more information about the races, the schedule and other registration times.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Group concerned about Huuki's vote against education to hold Copper Country Canvass June 15

HOUGHTON -- Some local union members, including members of the Michigan Building Trades, will be canvassing Michigan Rep. Matt Huuki's 110th District on Wednesday, June 15, because of concerns about children's education. Any Copper Country residents who wish to join them in a series of informational canvasses here in Huuki's home district are invited to meet the organizers and assist with the local canvass from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 15. The meeting place is the Houghton Wal-mart parking lot, where information, maps and street addresses will be distributed.

According to the canvass organizers, "Lansing politician Matt Huuki recently voted to cut over $1 billion from our local K-12 schools. That’s so Huuki and other politicians can pay for a $1.8 billion tax break for corporate special interests like insurance companies, oil companies and Wall Street banks."

We Are the People offers more information on Michigan citizens voicing their concerns about these cuts to education. Visit their Web site at http://wearethepeoplemichigan.com/.

You can also call Matt Huuki directly at (888) 663-4031 and express your views.

Updated: Green Film Festival to present "Thirst" June 16

HOUGHTON -- Thirst is the last film scheduled in the Green Film Festival. It will air at 7 p.m., Thursday, June 16, in the Atrium and G0002 of the Forestry Building. A discussion led by Michigan Tech environmental policy graduate student Ellis Adams will follow the showing.

The film documents community resistance in Bolivia, India and the US to efforts by powerful corporations to turn the world's water supplies into commercial commodities.

Viewing is free, but a donation of $3 is suggested. Coffee, tea, and dessert will be served.

"The Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative would like to thank you for your support of the Green Film series this past year," said Joan Chadde of the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative. "A total of 440 people have attended the past five films. Donations have come within $100 of the cost of the film festival (not including donated refreshments)."

Please come and share your ideas for films and speakers for next school year!

The Green Film Festival is sponsored by Michigan Tech's Center for Water and Society, the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative, the Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and the Keweenaw Land Trust.

Portage Library to present webinars on new databases June 15, July 13

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library will offer the public webinars that will explain how to use its two remarkable databases: Mango and Universal Class.

Shawn Leche, the library Director, will present the webinars from 4 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. on Wednesday, June 15, and Wednesday, July 13.

Mango is an online language learning system that teaches practical conversation skills for real communication. Each lesson combines real life situations and audio from native speakers with simple, clear instructions. The courses are presented with an appreciation for cultural nuance and real-world application that integrates components of vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar and culture. It includes over 30 languages and 10 courses which teach English as a second language. Patrons can choose a level of instruction from basic to complete courses that are more in-depth. The database features a fluency button to click on to hear a word pronounced at normal speaking speed.

Universal Class offers over 500 online continuing education courses taught by real instructors with remote, 24/7 access so people can study at their convenience on their own schedule. Patrons can enroll in up to five courses at a time and have six months to finish each course. A complete list of classes is posted on the library’s website.

Mango and Universal Class are available free of charge to all Portage Lake District Library patrons.

This webinar is free and open to all. For more information, please call the library at 482-4570 or visit www.pldl.org.

Editor's Note: See our Jan. 15, 2011, article on these databases, "Portage Library offers new data bases for online learning."

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Local residents sign petition to recall Gov. Rick Snyder

By Michele Bourdieu

HANCOCK, HOUGHTON -- The local petition drive to recall Michigan Governor Rick Snyder reports collecting more than 300 signatures in the first eight days of the drive for Baraga, Houghton and Keweenaw counties. The group of concerned citizen volunteers kicked off their signature collection on Saturday, June 4, in Hancock.

On June 4 in Hancock, local residents sign the Petition to Recall Rick Snyder. Signers must be 18 years old and registered to vote in the State of Michigan. (Photos by Keweenaw Now)

Krissy Sundstrom, BHK (Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw counties) petition captain and event coordinator, said the first collection brought more signatures than she had anticipated.

"Going in I thought if we even get 50 signatures it would be a successful event and worth the effort. Let me tell you," Sundstrom said, "we walked out with many full petitions containing 234 signatures!"

At the June 4 event Joanne and Gary Frederick of Osceola Township both signed the petition and were quite frank about their reasons for signing.

On June 4, Joanne and Gary Frederick, seated, of Osceola Township sign the Petition to Recall Rick Snyder. At far left is Krissy Sundstrom, petition captain and event coordinator for Baraga, Houghton and Keweenaw counties. Also assisting signers is Kari Sloat of Baltic.

"I can't stand that man," Joanne Frederick said. "How about the jobs? How many jobs have you seen in Michigan since this all started? He's worthless -- just worthless."

Her husband, Gary Frederick, blamed Snyder's shortcomings on the fact that he is a Republican.

"Any time you put a Republican in you've got a problem," Gary Frederick said. "They're strictly against the working man. They're strictly against unions, and unions are the best thing that ever happened to this country. You get good insurance, a pension. It isn't because of the Republicans. It's because of the Democrats.

Gary Frederick is a member of Local 190 Plumber and Pipe Fitter union. He worked as a welder on natural gas lines, but is now retired and receives benefits, thanks to the union, he explained.

Volunteers Kari Sloat, left, and Jennifer Sundstrom, third from left, assist signers Jordan Hahka of Ripley, second from left, and Kyle Hueter of Hancock.

Eugene Johnson, a retiree from Eagle Harbor, who also signed the petition in Hancock, spoke of the new tax bill that intends to tax pension income other than social security and military pensions.

"It hits our pension income while business gets tax breaks," Johnson said.

Jason Laplander of Hubbell said he came to sign the petition because of his concerns about teachers' rights since his wife is a teacher -- and about Snyder's attacks on the middle class, seniors and low-income people.

"He's trying to take away bargaining rights of teachers," Laplander noted.

Individual volunteers gathered for a training session at the Fifth and Elm Coffee House in Houghton on Saturday, June 11, just before the opening of the Spring Art and Music Festival on the city's upper parking deck. The petition drive was not affiliated with the Festival, but volunteer authorized petition circulators stationed on Shelden Avenue invited passers-by -- many of whom were going to or from the Festival -- to sign the petition.

Two of these volunteers were Wilma Minetti and her cousin Sam Buschell, both of Lake Linden.

On June 11 in downtown Houghton, Wilma Minetti and her cousin Sam Buschell, both of Lake Linden, after a training session, collect signatures for the Recall Rick Snyder petition.

Minetti said they were helping collect signatures to save local schools and towns.*

"He's (Snyder's) tearing it apart," she said. "He wants to privatize everything."

Sundstrom reported they collected 117 signatures on June 11.

The next Petition to Recall Rick Snyder signing event is scheduled for noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 18, at the Bridgeview Park in Houghton.

Sundstrom said the local petition signing effort has received solicitation approval from the Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce. This covers the Houghton, Hancock, and Calumet areas. More events will be scheduled for July.

Volunteer petition circulators Wilma Minetti, left, and Sam Buschell, right, assist signers Heather Hendrickson of Houghton, seated, and Amy Papp (in brown jacket), a teacher and volleyball coach at Iron Mountain High School. Papp's volleyball players, in the background, were participating in the Hancock Volleyball Camp on Saturday, June 11.

For more information and updates about the effort please visit The Committee to Recall Rick Snyder website at http://firericksnyder.org/ or the local Upper Peninsula effort at www.facebook.com/yoopersagainstsnyder.

Volunteers are still needed to help collect signatures, especially in Baraga County. Petition circulators are not required to be registered to vote in the State of Michigan, but they must be 18 years old and eligible to register to vote. If you wish to volunteer, please contact Krissy Sundstrom at bhkfiresnyder@gmail.com.

* Editor's Note: Snyder intends to assign emergency financial managers (EFMs) to any community or school district that has to request assistance in times of financial stress. The EFM will have the full authority to dissolve unions and overrule local governments.

From Stand for the Land: Vigils and Messages

Posted June 11, 2011, on Stand for the Land *

Thank you to those who participated in the fast by lending your presence in body and/or in spirit. The day started warm and by mid-day, was scorching hot. Sympathetic souls came and held vigil, driven there by a love for the land and the water, drawn by the Spirit of this place.

The guards kept watch as well (from a distance), lights flashing in the mist and drizzle that drifted in by early evening. Throughout the day and night, they made their rounds, a Humvee circling behind the fence, a low rumble sounding in the rain and darkness. But there was no fear. Four colors tied around the perimeter of the camp encircled us in safety, while the fire blazed at its center.

Driving home the next morning, I looked into my rearview mirror to see if my companion, the originator of this fast, was close behind me, and was startled to see a large bird circling in front of his car. It swooped and turned and I saw a white head -- an eagle! My heart leapt! I glanced again, saw an arm raised out the window, and knew an offering was being made. Miigwetch to the eagle, our messenger.

We heard from the attorneys that the court proceedings went well. The oral argument went on for five hours on the Part 632 (mining) case alone. The Part 31 (groundwater) was re-scheduled for next Thursday. At the conclusion, our side asked for the promised update on blasting plans. The new date is September 14.**

The Rock has a bit of a reprieve, but we must not relax our vigilance. In fact, we must increase it. Come, be a presence. If you can’t be here, send thoughts and prayers.

As my companion has said, "With a united effort a consciousness can be raised for the protection of the Earth." We must believe in it.

Editor's Notes:
* This was posted on Stand for the Land after the June 8-9 Fasting, Prayer and Fire held for 24 hours in view of Eagle Rock, the Anishinaabe sacred site where Rio Tinto / Kennecott plans to blast an entry to their Eagle Mine. Reprinted here with permission.

** The June 9 court proceedings are part of the appeal of the contested case concerning the mining permit given to Kennecott by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.