See our right-hand column for announcements and news briefs. Scroll down the right-hand column to access the Archives -- links to articles posted in the main column since 2007.

Friday, October 10, 2008

EPA to hold open house on Kennecott mine proposal Oct. 22

MARQUETTE -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will hold an open house on Wednesday, October 22, to answer questions about the federal role in regulating the proposed mine and the underground injection control permit application submitted by Kennecott Eagle Minerals Company. The open house will be held at the Holiday Inn, 1951 U.S. Highway 41, West Marquette, Mich. There will be three sessions -- from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Kennecott proposes to dispose of treated wastewater as part of a nickel and copper sulfide mining operation within the Yellow Dog Plains of northwestern Marquette County. EPA notified the company that any underground disposal system at the mining site must comply with the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act's federal Underground Injection Control (UIC) program before construction and operation. The Safe Drinking Water Act is intended to protect underground sources of drinking water.

The UIC permitting process for the underground disposal system is EPA's only direct regulatory role in the Eagle mine project. EPA is conducting a technical evaluation of the permit application and supporting documents and expects to issue a draft decision before the end of the year. EPA will accept public comments and hold a public hearing when the draft decision is announced.

A copy of the permit application and more information about the Eagle mine project and the underground injection control program is available at:

U.S. Fish and Wildlife requests EPA delay on Kennecott mine

The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has requested the EPA to determine whether habitat for the endangered Kirtland warbler and threatened Canada lynx occurs in areas that could directly or indirectly be affected by Kennecott's Eagle Project.

According to the USFWS, "Kirtland's warblers utilize young, dense stands of jack pine that are interspersed with treeless openings," and requested the EPA to conduct a survey of male Kirtland's warblers, in late Spring, 2009, if potential habitat is located in the area.

Although key indicators suggest the area as suitable habitat for both species and were acknowledged in Kennecott's Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), the company did not consider the project as potentially affecting Kirtland warbler or Canadian lynx habitat. According to the DEQ, Kennecott conducted only 7 months of the legally-required 2-year flora and fauna study. . . Read more on SaveTheWildUP.

Editor's Note: This information is courtesy SaveTheWildUP.

Barbara Kettle Gundlach Shelter receives grant

HANCOCK -- The Barbara Kettle Gundlach Shelter Home for Abused Women has been chosen to receive one of 150 grants awarded by a leading national anti-domestic violence organization, the Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation (MKACF). The $20,000 grant will be used to maintain the crisis line and direct services to program participants.

Supporters of the Shelter and recipients of its services recently called attention to the work of the Shelter in helping survivors of domestic violence with a Candlelight Ceremony in Hancock on Oct. 6.

Supporters of the Barbara Kettle Gundlach Shelter hold a candlelight march in Hancock Oct. 6 after their ceremony honoring survivors of domestic violence. The event also included speakers, poetry and music. Carrying the Shelter Home banner are Anne Haywood, left, of Hancock, and Ann Brady, Shelter Home Board member. Left of Brady, with other marchers, is Emily Newhouse, Shelter Home executive director. Click on photo for larger version. (Photo © 2008 Michele Bourdieu)

Shelters are feeling the impact of a weak economy. According to the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, shelter donations are down; but the need for services is increasing. To help make sure needs are met, the foundation started by the late Mary Kay Ash is donating a total of $3 million in grants to shelters in all 50 states.

"This grant gives us much-needed cash and hope at Barbara Kettle Gundlach Shelter," said Emily Newhouse, executive director. "The problem of domestic violence isn’t going away and neither is the need for funding. Programs to help those experiencing domestic violence require a lot of resources. It is a tremendous challenge to provide services on a 24 hour basis. Grants specifically for everyday operating expenses are rare, and this funding demonstrates the Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation understands this need for funding of day-to-day operations. We’re grateful that the Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation is stepping up to the plate in helping us help families in Houghton, Keweenaw and Ontonagon counties."

Hand-decorated tee-shirts are displayed on a clothesline in the Finnish American Heritage Center in Hancock during the Oct. 6 Candlelight Ceremony honoring survivors of domestic violence. The shirts are part of the Clothesline Project -- a program started in 1990 on Cape Cod, Mass., as a vehicle for women affected by violence to express their emotions by decorating a shirt. They then hang the shirt on a clothesline to be viewed by others as testimony to the problem of violence against women. (Photo © 2008 Michele Bourdieu)

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), domestic violence affects one in every four women in the United States. Nationally:
· The cost of intimate partner violence exceeds $5.8 billion each year, 4.1 billion of which is for direct medical and mental health services;
· Boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults;
· 84 percent of spousal abuse victims are female.

The statistics in Michigan are just as startling. According to the NCADV:
· 48,310 domestic violence offenses were reported to the Michigan Uniform Crime Report (UCR) Program in 2003.
· About 4 of every 10 females seen in selected emergency departments for injuries related to assault were there because of intimate partner violence.
· It is estimated that there were 22,328 domestic violence cases handled in Michigan’s prosecuting attorney offices in 2000.

Rhythm 203 performs folk songs during the Oct. 6 Barbara Kettle Gundlach Shelter Home Candlelight Ceremony for survivors fo domestic violence. Musicians and singers are, from left, Sue Ellen Kingsley, Phyllis Fredendall and Norm Kendall. (Video © 2008 Michele Bourdieu)

"The Barbara Kettle Gundlach Shelter has helped so many women and their families in Houghton, Keweenaw and Ontonagon Counties. We know they will use these funds to benefit even more domestic violence survivors and their children," said Jennifer Cook, MKACF board member. "Mary Kay Ash wanted her foundation to help enrich women’s lives. All the tragic stories and statistics we hear about domestic violence encourage us to do our part. We know Barbara Kettle Gundlach Shelter will use these funds to stop domestic violence and provide help and hope to domestic violence survivors and their children in Houghton, Keweenaw and Ontonagon counties in Michigan."

About the Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation

The Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation was created in 1996, and its mission is two-fold: to fund research of cancers affecting women and help prevent domestic violence while raising awareness of the issue. Since the Foundation’s inception, it has awarded nearly $18 million to shelters and programs addressing domestic violence and $10.8 million to cancer researchers and
related causes throughout the United States. To learn more about the Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation, log on to or call 1-877-MKCARES (652-2737).

Editor's Note: Programs at the Barbara Kettle Gundlach Shelter Home are supported by the Copper Country United Way. Donations may also be sent to Barbara Kettle Gundlach Shelter Home for Abused Women, P. O. Box 8, Calumet, MI 49913.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Finlandia's Nordic Film Series begins Oct. 9

HANCOCK -- The Finlandia University Finnish American Heritage Center begins its fall Nordic Film Series today, October 9, with five new documentaries from noted filmmaker and frequent area visitor Erkki Määttänen. Showings are at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

The featured short films are about Finnish and Finnish-American musicians and artists, with the exception of Todistajat (Witnesses), a documentary about a group of Finns whose parents (some of whom had returned to Karelia, Finland, from North America) disappeared in the Soviet Union during the Stalinist purges of the 1930s.

Other films to be shown October 9 include, Suomalaisia kaikuja or Finnish Echoes in the Midwest about a number familiar Finnish American musicians and the places they perform in Michigan and Minnesota; Jim Johnson about the Finnish-American poet from Duluth; and Peruna-Jussin rytmiluut or Johnnie Perona’s Rhythm Bones about the 85-year-old rhythm bones musician of Calumet.

Other films are Gerry about Duluth kantele maker Gerry Henkel and Les Ross, Suupelin soittaja (Les Ross, Mouth Organ Player) about a Negaunee musician who plays harmonica in traditional Finnish-American lumberjack style.

Finally, Lännen-Jukka etsimässä or Looking for Lännen-Jukka explores the music of J. Karjalainen, one of Finland’s most popular singer-songwriters and a well-known devotee of American bluegrass.

Last year Karjalainen released the CD, Lännen Jukka, Amerikansuomalaisia lauluja (Jukka of the West, Finnish-American songs), a collection of American blues songs with Finnish lyrics and a tribute to his musical mentor, Hiski Salomaa, an early Finnish American songwriter who at one time lived in South Range. The album was widely considered one of the best Finnish recordings of 2006.

The films include a number of western Upper Peninsula faces and places, including Jingo Wiitala-Vachon, and the Happala Brothers (George and Albert) from Bruce Crossing, Runeberg Hall in Dollar Bay , The Mosquito Inn and Toivola Lunch of Toivola, and the Co-op Hall in Bruce Crossing.

Film director Erkki Määttänen has been making documentaries for the Finnish Broadcasting company for 30 years. He has made 80 short and feature-length documentaries all over the world. Määttänen’s films have been shown at film festivals in USA, Canada, Europe and Russia. He has filmed a number of documentaries in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Upper Michigan.

The Nordic Film Series occurs on the second Thursday of each month. The films, which show at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., offer the area’s only opportunity to see contemporary Finnish, Sami and Norwegian films. November’s movie is the Finnish film, Colorado Avenue.

For additional information, please contact the Finnish American Heritage Center at 906-487-7505.

Obama fires back in Indianapolis: "I ask you to believe ..."

INDIANAPOLIS -- Following his Oct. 7 presidential candidate debate with Republican Senator John McCain in Nashville, Tenn., Democratic Senator Barack Obama fired up a crowd estimated at 21,000 on Wednesday, Oct. 8, in a rally at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis.

Videos on the Indianapolis Star Web site,, capture some key moments of his high-energy speech and reactions of the enthusiastic crowd. Click here to see the Star's videos and today's article, "Obama: 'Better days ahead,'" by Mary Beth Schneider, Star reporter.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Los comentarios de Gustavo: El "Tori" de Hancock

Editor's Note: This is the second in a series of "Comentarios y fotos" by Gustavo Bourdieu, Keweenaw Now photographer, for our readers who speak, read or study Spanish. In this week's comentario, Gustavo celebrates Hancock's "Tori," the Finnish word for "market" or, in Spanish, "mercado."

Queridos amigos y amigas,

Como apicultor, tengo una pequeña huerta en el campo para el abastecimiento de verduras frescas durante el verano, y puedo guardar algo para el invierno que está cerca.

Siempre hay un excedente y aprovecho en venderlo en el Tori Market de Hancock. Esta es una gran idea de tener nuestro pequeño mercado, donde se reunen agricultores y artesanos locales para vender sus productos todos los miércoles y sábados.

Lamentablemente, debido al clima, ayer fue la última apertura de la temporada.

Siempre que he viajado en distintas ciudades, aprovecho de visitar los mercados. Estos reflejan la realidad de los pueblos y países. Visitar el mercado es conocer en profundidad cada pueblo.

Los vendedores / compañeros del "Tori" de Hancock se reunen para esta foto el sábado 4 de octubre, el último día de la temporada. (Photo © 2008 Gustavo Bourdieu. Click on photo for larger version.)

El ambiente que se vive en él es de gran camaradería y amistad, donde toda la gente se saluda y sonríe, donde van los clientes a comprar verduras frescas -- la mayoría orgánica -- y artesanías locales de una belleza increíble.

Recomiendo a todos los lectores de nuestra comunidad visitar el Tori market; así consumirán productos locales y frescos. Ahora tendremos que esperar al próximo año.

Les adjunto una foto de ayer de los vendedores y colegas míos en el Tori.

Hasta la próxima,
Gustavo Bourdieu