Saturday, May 19, 2012

Opinion: Wisconsin mine law needs public process, not "consensus"

By Al Gedicks and Eric Hansen*

If no mining company has been able to meet the standards of Wisconsin’s mining moratorium law, it does not mean the law is flawed and in need of revision. It means the mining industry’s claim of being able to mine safely lacks scientific merit.

Gogebic Taconite may have temporarily abandoned its proposed open pit iron mine at the pristine headwaters of the Bad River, but company spokesman Bob Seitz says the firm still wants Wisconsin’s mining law changed. Efforts are under way to develop a new "consensus" on legislation that failed to pass the Senate in the last session.

George Meyer, executive director of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation (WWF), has met with Tim Sullivan, president of the Wisconsin Mining Association, to develop a compromise bill. According to Meyer, WWF and the mining association "agree on 90 percent" of the issues.**

Something is wrong with Meyer, Sullivan and other interested parties getting together to work out "consensus" legislation that would allow GTac and other proposed mines to go forward. That process would elevate an unrepresentative group over the broad, thorough civic discussion and scientific investigation that has served this state’s citizens, and its water, so well.

When Wisconsinites last saw this "consensus" approach to mining legislation, it resulted in regulations allowing groundwater contamination beneath and around mine sites. That ill-advised legislation was the result of a 1980s push by mining companies (Exxon, Kennecott and Inland Steel) and the Department of Natural Resources to overturn the previously existing policy of nondegradation of groundwater. Kennecott then obtained a permit for its Flambeau open pit copper and gold mine at Ladysmith in the early 1990s. Kennecott’s own monitoring wells now show the groundwater there is highly polluted with sulfates and various metals.

Wisconsinites thoroughly rejected the lax regulation that that "consensus" developed. In 1998 a broad-based alliance of conservation-minded citizens succeeded in passing Wisconsin’s common sense "show me it is safe first" mining moratorium law. A 29-3 bipartisan vote in the state Senate reflected the depth of support.***

This wise law reflects a high regard for due diligence and reasonable prudence -- but did not ban mining. It simply requires mining companies to prove their proposed mine would not pollute groundwater or surface water where sulfides are present in the ore body or the rock surrounding the ore body.

Sulfides exposed to air and water create acid mine drainage. Exxon could not meet the requirements of the law and withdrew from the controversial Crandon mine project, which threatened the Wolf River, in 1998.

GTac’s managing director, Matt Fifield, denies that the rock layers covering the iron ore deposit near the Bad River contain sulfides. Both the DNR and the U.S. Geological Survey disagree.

The iron mining bill that was proposed late last year, written by GTac, would have exempted the company from the requirements of the mining moratorium law. Any compromise legislation that allows GTac to mine where sulfides are present would threaten both Ashland’s drinking water and the Bad River Chippewa Tribe’s renowned wild rice beds.

One overwhelming message came out of public hearings on the bill written by GTac: The citizens and tribes of Wisconsin are not prepared to trade mining jobs for the long-term contamination of their water.

In addition, the secretive process that produced GTac’s mine bill reconfirmed a broad truth: An informed and assertive public is the watchdog that guarantees the public’s ability to question and block ill-advised industrial schemes.

Insist that your elected state representatives stand up for clean government, local control and an open public process for any mining bill procedure. Urge them to oppose an elite "consensus" decision-making group that includes GTac’s mining lobbyists but leaves the majority of Wisconsin citizens and tribal members out of the process.

* Al Gedicks is a professor of sociology at UW-La Crosse, executive secretary of the Wisconsin Resources Protection Council and author of Resource Rebels: Native Challenges to Mining and Oil Corporations. Eric Hansen is an award-winning outdoor writer, conservation essayist and public radio commentator. This article originally appeared in The CapTimes. It is reprinted here with the permission of the authors.

Editor's Notes:

** In a press release from the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), which recently released a legal analysis of weak laws and lax enforcement of mining laws in the Great Lakes Region (that showed mining laws and enforcement in Wisconsin as somewhat better than in Minnesota, Michigan or Ontario) George Meyer was cited as saying, "'While we may be faring better than our counterparts in Michigan and Minnesota, this study makes clear that Wisconsin has a long way to go before our residents can rest easy in regards to sulfide mining.'" Click here to read this May 10, 2012, NWF press release, "Great Lakes Remain Vulnerable to New Wave of Dangerous Mining, According to New Report."

When Keweenaw Now asked Meyer (during a recent NWF telephone press conference) about that moratorium in the light of sulfide mines now being proposed in Wisconsin, he said, "It is not a moratorium ... it is more of a standard that must be met by the agency before it issues a sulfide mining permit in Wisconsin." The standard, he explained requires that, before permitting a mine, a regulatory agency must find that -- anywhere in North America -- there has been a sulfide mine closed for 10 years without violating environmental laws as well as an existing sulfide mine that has been operating for 10 years without violating such laws. As far as the Flambeau Mine near Ladysmith, Wis., which Kennecott holds up as an example of a "successful" sulfide mine (now closed), Meyer said there is some contamination coming from it (as the authors of this article state above) but that, while some individuals find it significant, the regulating agency doesn't find it significant.

*** Click here to read the two-page Mining Moratorium Law, titled "1997 WISCONSIN ACT 171."

See also our Jan. 25, 2011, article, "Updated: Lawsuit filed against Kennecott subsidiary for water pollution at Flambeau Mine site."

Friday, May 18, 2012

Open Letter to Marquette City, County Officials

Why is [Marquette] County pretending that building CR 595 would benefit the community and the region? Review the 595 application. It does not take a keen scientific mind to see that this project would be extremely destructive and is completely unnecessary for our economic or any other kind of well-being. Recent comments from both the Army Corps and Fish and Wildlife confirm this.

Wildcat Canyon in the potential CR 595 corridor. Looking straight down the canyon, one can see Eagle Rock in the middle of the photo, close to the top, below the bluish ridges on the horizon. The sand from the Eagle Mine site is visible just to the right and left. Click on photo for larger version. (File photo © and courtesy Jeremiah Eagle Eye. Reprinted with permission.)

How did we get to this place? Will someone tell me, please, if the city of Marquette was consulted before Kennecott changed its ore hauling route from the original permitted plan ending at a railhead north of Marquette, to a route that flows through our city?

The public seemed unaware of this footnote until just last year, when Kennecott pulled it out of the closet in an attempt to scare us into supporting their haul road proposal.

This map, displayed at the Sept. 19, 2011, Marquette County Road Commission meeting, shows two possible haul routes for the Rio Tinto / Kennecott Eagle Mine. The red north-south route is an approximate projection of the proposed County Road 595, which would have ecological impacts, especially on wetlands. The longer route, in black, would use present roads: the Triple A Road (heading east from the mine site), CR 510, CR 550, and US 41 (heading west) to the Humboldt processing mill. Click on map for larger version. (File photo of map by Keweenaw Now)

Part 632 mining law says a local unit of government may enact, maintain, and enforce ordinances, regulations, or resolutions regulating the routes used by vehicles in connection with mining operations. Have our local officials attempted to exercise these rights?

Why hasn’t the City pursued the possibility of constructing a bypass north of Marquette?  The Township’s 2008 Road Facilities Plan includes just such a road, extending from the intersection of US 41 Brickyard north to Forestville and eventually continuing north to County Road HK and terminating at County Road 550. It was proposed as a route to segregate heavy commercial traffic, primarily forest product and aggregate haulers, from everyday non-commercial traffic. Why was that option taken off the table?

We should not allow Rio Tinto to dictate to us which routes it will use to ship out its ore.  They would have us believe that we must choose between running mine trucks through the city, and tearing up our wilderness. If they’re concerned about keeping their rather tenuous social license to operate, they might be careful to avoid further bullying. We should not be fooled by gifts given to local charities; they are nothing more than flowers after a black eye.

This company has yanked around our citizens and officials and conducted activities without permits, confident that penalties would be minimal to nonexistent. It is a bit late to regret that we invited them into our community, but we should show them the door as quickly as possible. In the meantime, make them obey the rules.

Catherine Parker
Marquette, MI

Nominations sought for Heart and Hands of Keweenaw Award

HANCOCK -- The Heart and Hands Award Committee is now accepting nominations! If you know someone who has given of him or herself in the service of peace, justice or the environment in our local community, please consider nominating this person (or couple) for this year’s Heart and Hands of the Keweenaw Award. This year, two awards will be given -- one for adults and one for youth under 21. The adult winner of this award will be given $1,000 and the youth will be given $250 to be designated to the non-profit charities of their choice.

The winner and all nominees will be honored during a 4th of July Celebration in Hancock. Nominations are due June 22, 2012, so get your nomination in today!

Nominations should include a description of how the candidate has had a significant impact on the Keweenaw community in the area of peace, justice, human needs and/or environmental stewardship. Please be specific about what form their contribution and involvement has taken. The nomination form only takes a moment to fill out and the recognition will mean a lot to a deserving individual!

Click here for a nomination form. Visit the Heart and Hands Web site to read about the award.

For more information, contact Terry Kinzel at 482-6827 or via e-mail at tkinzel@pasty.net.

CLK Elementary students celebrate Safe Biking-Healthy Kids Day May 18

Abigail Harris-Berryman rides her bike to CLK Elementary in Calumet despite some wet weather this morning, Friday, May 18. CLK Elementary is participating in Bike2Work Day today with their own Pedal Power Safe Biking - Healthy Kids Day -- learning about bikes and healthy food. (Photo © and courtesy Crissy Gerhart)

CALUMET -- While older residents celebrate Bike2Work Day in the Copper Country, CLK Elementary School in Calumet is holding a special Pedal Power Safe Biking - Healthy Kids Day today, celebrating the final leg of Sara Salo’s 5,000+ mile bicycle tour promoting healthy foods and cycling for both transportation and recreation.

Sara Salo, founder and executive director of the School Food Bicycle Tour, with her bicycle, appeared Thursday night, May 17, at Michigan Tech, to lead a discussion on a film about food as a local and global issue -- part of the Green Film Series. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

Salo, a Houghton High School graduate, is the founder and executive director of the School Food Bicycle Tour with the goal of empowering students, schools, and communities to advocate for equitable access to wholesome food. She just completed her solo ride at CLK, and is helping launch a school-wide celebration of safe and healthy recreation and foods.

The CLK Elementary event is a project of the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative in cooperation with the Western UP Health Department’s Safe Routes to School Program and the School Food Bicycle Tour. Volunteers from Michigan Tech’s Mechanical and Environmental Engineering Departments, Cross Country Sports, Keweenaw Adventure Company, Copper Island Printing, Copper Harbor Trails Club, and the Western UP Health Department have given their time to support student learning and healthy activities at CLK!

Editor's Note: Watch for more photos, coming soon ...

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Backroom Boys to play dance music at Copper Island Beach Club May 19

The Backroom Boys, pictured standing from left, Oren Tikkanen, John Munson, Bob Norden and, seated, Randy Seppala will play a variety of dance music at the Copper Island Beach Club in Hancock Saturday, May 19. (Photo courtesy Backroom Boys)

HANCOCK -- Bring your dancing shoes on down to the Copper Island Beach Club this Saturday, May 19, for some good times with the trad-jazz and swing music of the Backroom Boys. Laissez les bons temps rouler -- from 7 p.m. until at least 10 p.m.

The Copper Island Beach Club is on the beautiful Hancock waterfront at the bottom of Tezcuco Street.

Reception for Lake Superior Art Association exhibit to be May 18 in Marquette

"Cycle of the Ages," oils on wood, by Gary Raether, Jr., is Best of Show at the 36th Annual Lake Superior Art Association Members' Exhibition, which continues through May 31 in the Lower Level Gallery of the City of Marquette Arts and Culture Center, located in the Peter White Public Library. (Photos by Keweenaw Now)

MARQUETTE -- An artist reception for the 36th Annual Lake Superior Art Association (LSAA) Members' Exhibition will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, May 18, in the Lower Level Gallery of the City of Marquette Arts and Culture Center, located in the Peter White Public Library, 217 N. Front Street.

"Momo," mixed media collage by Reneë Michaud, winner of the First Time Exhibitor award.

This exhibition, featuring the work of over 70 regional artists, continues through May 31, 2012.

Tiina Harris, director of Arts and Culture for the City of Marquette, says the location of the Gallery in the Peter White Public Library offers the opportunity to connect with people who otherwise might not often visit an art gallery.

Tiina Harris, director of Arts and Culture for the City of Marquette, whose office is next to the Lower Level Gallery of the City of Marquette Arts and Culture Center in the Peter White Library, says the location of the gallery attracts people to art. At left is "Barn Find Model A," an acrylic painting by Corbin Lutz. Harris says the painting reminds her to announce the coming convention of the Model A Ford Club of America, which will take place June 18-22, in downtown Marquette.

"Of the 11 exhibits that we host in this gallery every year, LSAA curates six of them," says Harris. "It's wonderful because we're located inside the Peter White Library. People wander in, having no idea what this is all about -- and it's a nice surprise."

Carol Phillips, an artist in her own right and curator of the Lake Superior Art Association Members' Exhibition, places labels on the pieces on April 30, just before the exhibit opened on May 1, 2012.

Editor's Note: We are having technical difficulties attempting to post on this page our slide show with some more art works from the LSAA exhibit. Click here to go directly to the slide show in our Picasa album. Click on slide show at the top left corner of the page of thumbnails.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Updated: Keweenaw Bike2Work Day is Friday, May 18

HANCOCK -- "Be Safe, Be Seen" is the theme for this year's Keweenaw Bike2Work Day -- this Friday, May 18. This is the 5th annual celebration of safe bicycle commuting in Houghton, Hancock, Calumet, Lake Linden and neighboring communities.

Hancock City Councilor John Slivon, left, and his wife, Ann Pace, who both helped coordinate the first Hancock Bike to Work Day in 2010, help cyclists register at the 2011 Bike to Work Hancock bike station. Look for them again this year across from Dave's service station in Hancock. Bikers register, receive a free water bottle, fresh fruit and home-made snacks. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

Cyclists and pedestrians are encouraged to wear bright clothing and obey traffic rules. Motorists are encouraged to watch for non-motorized vehicles and to share the road. Motorists should take extra care in school zones as many local schools are having bike and walk to school events that day as part of their Safe Routes to Schools programs.
 
Lake Linden is a new addition this year. Volunteers are organizing a snack stop in each location in the morning and afternoon and a Bike Repair Booth in the afternoon in Houghton, Hancock and Calumet.

"We encourage cycling and other community groups to adopt/run either a Snack Stop or Bike Repair Booth for an entire period or day," said Ann West of the Houghton Walking and Biking Committee. "In the past we’ve had great support from the Trailseekers, Red Jacket, C4, and  Trekkers clubs."

During the 2011 Bike to Work Day, volunteer Bob Drake checks Rita Lederle's bike for safety at the Houghton bike station. Drake will again volunteer at the Houghton bike station this year. The safety check at the bike stations included brakes, steering and reflectors. Lederle, center, who biked from Hancock to Houghton, is pictured with Chris DeDene of Houghton. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

The morning snack stops are open from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., and the afternoon snacks are served from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the following locations:

Houghton -- Waterfront Trail near the Ambassador Restaurant. Also includes an afternoon Bike Repair Booth.

Hancock -- U.S. 41 across from Dave’s service station. Also includes an afternoon Bike Repair Booth. Update: John Slivon could use a volunteer to help at this bike station from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday. Please email him at john@jrsdesign.net if you can help.

Calumet -- Oak St. outside Cross Country Sports. Also includes Bike Repair.

Lake Linden -- Lake Linden Park. 

Lorri Oikarinen is pictured here at the Calumet High School Bike to Work station during last year's Bike to Work Day. This year the Calumet bike station will be at Cross Country Sports, where Lorri is co-owner with her husband, Rick Oikarinen. (File photo © 2011 and courtesy Crissy Gerhart)

Register for prizes!

If you plan to take at least one trip to work, school or errands by cycling, walking, or other human-powered mode in Houghton County or Keweenaw County on Friday, May 18, 2012, or, if you cannot do so on May 18 but plan to do your non-motorized commute sometime between now and May 25, please register by clicking here and answering a short survey. You may also register at a Keweenaw Bike2Work Day snack station in Calumet, Lake Linden, Hancock or Houghton during your morning or evening commute on May 18, to be entered in a drawing for prizes donated by local businesses.

Your name will be used for the raffle only. If you don't wish to give your name, you may still complete other questions to help us get an accurate count of participants. Your address may be used for bike route planning purposes. If you would rather not divulge your address, please consider giving the name of your street or a nearby location. Your email address may be used only with your permission to contact you about cycling and pedestrian issues. You are not required to give your phone number or email.

None of your personal information will be shared for ANY reason, unless you allow agents of the Houghton Bike/Pedestrian Committee or Western U.P. Health Department to contact you about pedestrian and cycling advocacy and planning issues, or about the prize drawing.

For more information, call Ray Sharp at the health department at 482-7382.

Sen. Levin: Republican budget cuts would hurt seniors on Medicare, Head Start and college students, funding for environmental protection, more ...

Sen. Carl Levin's Senate Floor Statement on Republican Budget Proposals
Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Mr. President, our nation faces enormous and worrisome fiscal challenges. There is no question we must reduce our budget deficit in the medium-term and prepare for a longer-term future in which an aging population stresses Medicare and Social Security funds. And we face, at the beginning of January, the prospect of automatic, unprioritized, and unwise budget cuts that would do tremendous harm to just about every program in the government, from domestic programs to our military, and would in the process threaten our economic recovery.

The way to address those enormous challenges is by coming together to address the sources of our budget deficit. The solutions must include prudent, prioritized spending cuts. They will undoubtedly include reforms to entitlement programs to ensure their long-term viability. And, as just about any objective observer has repeatedly pointed out, the solutions must include restoration of revenues lost to the Treasury through unjustified tax cuts for the wealthiest and unjustified tax loopholes.... Click here to read the rest of Sen. Levin's statement today in the Senate.

Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club to meet May 16 at Hancock Chalet

Gromit the Trail Dog says don't forget this is the last meeting of the season for the Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club (of which she is an honorary member): 7 p.m. TONIGHT, Wednesday, May 16.

HANCOCK -- The Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club (KNSC) will hold its regular monthly meeting (the last for this season) at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 16, at the Hancock Chalet. Questions, call Jay Green at 487-5411.

* Check out Gromit's latest trail adventures on her blog, The Trail Mutt Reports.

Updated: Green Film Series to host film on food, visit by Sara Salo of School Food Bicycle Tour May 17

Sara Salo, founder of the School Food Bicycle Tour, stops for a photo on her 6,000-mile solo ride to call attention to community sustainable healthy food. She completes the ride in Houghton this week and will lead a discussion at the Green Film event Thursday, May 17, at Michigan Tech. (Photo by Myers Photo and courtesy The School Food Tour) 

HOUGHTON -- Food is a local issue, a global issue -- a development, health, political and economic issue. How can communities design a food system that ensures health, accessibility and affordability for everyone?

The Green Film Series continues this week with a film about food and a discussion facilitated by Sara Salo, founder and executive director of the School Food Bicycle Tour, a 6,000-mile solo ride with the goal of empowering students, schools and communities to advocate for equitable access to wholesome food.

Salo, who lives in Bend, Oregon, earned an M.S. in Public Health from Oregon State University. She is fascinated with examining and strategizing how the roles of place, community and individual come together to create and maintain sustainable food systems. Salo has also been involved in cycling for many years and strongly believes encouraging more people to ride bikes for both recreation and transport can make a powerful impact on the world.*

The film will be shown at 7 p.m., Thursday, May 17, in Fisher 135 on the Michigan Tech campus.** An audience discussion will follow, with coffee, tea and dessert served. The program is free. A donation of $3 is suggested.

The Green Film Series is sponsored by the Center for Water and Society, the Keweenaw Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship, the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative and the Keweenaw Land Trust.

It is partially funded by a grant from the League of Women Voters of the Copper Country, Friends of the Land of Keweenaw and the UP Environmental Coalition.

* To learn more about the School Food Bicycle Tour, visit their Web site.
** Update: Correction: We originally stated the incorrect time as 6 p.m. The film is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Michigan League of Conservation Voters: Great Lakes Horror Stories

From Michigan League of Conservation Voters
Posted on their Political Week in Review May 14, 2012

A new sulfide mine may be built a mere two miles from Lake Superior, Asian carp are at the threshold of Lake Michigan, and Pete Hoekstra sees no problem with drilling under the Great Lakes. You'd think we were writing on the day following Halloween, not Mother's Day, with this kind of news.

A new report rates Michigan's sulfide mining laws as "poor," a sterile word for a frightening message that there is little we can do to prevent new sulfide mines from contaminating watersheds. There is good news in the Great Lakes, though. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will complete its watershed separation study in 2013, two years ahead of schedule. Now, if only the carp will agree to wait on all these studies before invading Lake Michigan... Click here to read these articles on the Michigan League of Conservation Voters Political Week in Review.

Temple Jacob in Hancock to celebrate centennial Aug. 9-12

Temple Jacob in Hancock, Mich., the only active synagogue in Michigan listed on the National Historic Register, will celebrate its centennial anniversary Aug. 9-12, 2012. (Photo courtesy Temple Jacob)

HANCOCK --  Temple Jacob in Hancock, Mich., will mark its centennial anniversary with a three-day celebration Aug. 9-12, 2012. This historic building, at the north end of the Portage Lift Bridge separating Houghton and Hancock, has its roots in the copper mining boom of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Preparations are under way for this once in a lifetime weekend of festivities to honor Temple Jacob’s 100-year history and launch its second century. Events will include a Friday night Shabbat service and Oneg, the opening reception for the Temple Jacob exhibit at the Carnegie Museum, a tour to historic Jewish Community homes and businesses, a gala Saturday night dinner party and a Sunday bagel brunch.

A Centennial Campaign has been organized to ensure the financial stability of Temple Jacob for generations to come. Anyone who has an interest in this small Jewish community or has a connection to Temple Jacob personally or through family history, is invited to contact mpinelis@sbcglobal.net to be included in the invitation list, to share their stories, and to contribute to the fund to maintain this architectural treasure.*

Temple Jacob, with its distinctive copper dome and magnificent stained glass windows, is the only active synagogue in Michigan listed on the National Historic Register and the oldest continuously active Jewish House of Worship in the Upper Peninsula. Its architect was Charles Maass, who also designed other well-known buildings in the Copper Country.

In 1889, when the founders -- Jacob Gartner, Henry Pimstein, Herman Joffee, Henry Feldman and J. Gottliebson -- established the "Congregation of Israel," there were approximately 100 Jewish families in the Copper Country. By 1912, when the building was completed, the demand for copper had begun to decline. Although membership in the congregation has diminished over the years, Temple Jacob continues to serve a diverse and ever changing congregation with High Holiday services, Passover Seders, Torah Study, Jewish camping programs, Sukkot and Purim celebrations and more. All this is done through the efforts of a committed core of community members and occasional visiting clergy.

Affiliated with the Union of Reform Judaism, Temple Jacob is supported by its members and the continued generosity of a small, but growing group of friends. Over the years, many Jewish students and faculty at Michigan Tech University in Houghton, as well as other professionals who have sojourned in the Copper Country, have benefited from an affiliation with Temple Jacob.

For further information, contact Susan Burack at 906-482-3270 or sburack@pasty.net. 

* Contributions can also be made online at http://www.razoo.com/story/Temple-Jacob, which includes a video describing Temple Jacob’s historic role in the Copper Country.

Portage Library to host final program in Isle Royale family series May 15

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library will host the final program in the "Explore Your National Park" series of family programs presented by Isle Royale National Park Rangers Valerie Martin and Justin Olson.

These programs offer adventures and activities that are suitable for families and kids ages five to twelve. Programs include a 30-minute show followed by hands-on activities.

The final program will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 15. During "Wade into Isle Royale," kids will become an aquatic ecologist-in-training as they "jump" into Lake Superior with Ranger Valerie Martin and take an imaginary expedition to explore this freshwater home. Participants will meet some of the animals and plants that live in the lake, including a few troublemakers that don’t belong there. Activities include building a food web, checking out some alien species, and testing out an underwater robot.

The robot was built by Dollar Bay High School students who will explain how they constructed the robot, describe what tasks the robot is used for, and demonstrate how it works.

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

Conservancy offers summer youth scholarship for Aquatic Ecology at Gratiot Lake

GRATIOT LAKE -- Gratiot Lake Conservancy sponsors the Jack and Rita Sandretto Memorial Scholarship for a high school student to attend the Michigan Tech Summer Youth Program Exploration: Aquatic Ecology at Gratiot Lake. This intensive educational program is held at the Noblet Field Station and Nature Preserve at Gratiot Lake from July 15 to July 20.

Applications for this scholarship must be received by the Michigan Technological University Center for Pre-College Outreach no later than June 1, 2012.

This program is nearly fully enrolled, so applicants for scholarship should not delay. Preference is given to Western Upper Peninsula youth but others may apply. Scholarship applicants must also register for the Exploration.

Click here for information about the scholarship and an application form.

Or call Rose Martell at the  Michigan Tech Summer Youth Program office: 906-487-2219.