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Saturday, May 08, 2010

Huffington Post publishes Cynthia Pryor's article on Eagle Rock

Photo taken from the top of Eagle Rock May 2, 2010, showing campsite. (Photo courtesy Stand For the Land)

MARQUETTE -- "A Sacred Fire is Burning at Eagle Rock," an article by Cynthia Pryor, Sulfide Mining Campaign director for the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve, was published on Friday, May 7, 2010, on the Huffington Post.

Pryor recounts how her arrest by Rio Tinto on public land led to the present occupation of Eagle Rock, a sacred site of the Anishinaabe (Ojibwa) people and the proposed portal for the "Eagle" Project sulfide mine.

Click here to read the article on Huffpost. It can also be found on Stand for the Land.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

First Friday in Calumet to offer art, music events May 7

CALUMET -- Main Street Calumet's First Friday events on May 7 include exhibits, receptions, watercolor painting and music. Make it an evening!

Vertin Gallery to host exhibit by Bethany Stevens

The Vertin Gallery is pleased to present its newest exhibition, "TANGLES: TACHISM AND THE CLIMATE CRISIS," a collection of expressionist paintings by the artist BETHANY STEVENS.

"Study of a Tangle," Oil on Canvas, 2010, by Bethany Stevens. (Photo courtesy Vertin Gallery)

The exhibition will open May 7 and be on display until June 2, 2010. A reception will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, May 7. The public is invited and refreshments will be served.

Located in the heart of downtown Calumet, the Vertin Gallery is one of the Upper Peninsula’s premiere fine art galleries, representing over 144 artists and featuring paintings, sculpture, glass, fine woodworking, jewelry, fiber, photography, pottery, copper, and a fine collection of books and antiques. The work in the gallery changes frequently and premieres a new exhibition each month to showcase artists of the highest quality.

For more information on upcoming events and the gallery itself, visit or please telephone Kerri Corser, artistic coordinator, at (906) 337-2200.

Miskwabik Ed Gray Gallery to present "Inside / Outside the Box"

The Miskwabik Ed Gray Gallery will present a juried, all-media exhibit, "Inside / Outside the Box," from May 7 to June 2, 2010.

An opening reception will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, May 7. The Miskwabik Ed Gray Gallery is at 109 Fifth Street in Calumet.

Artist Ellen Torola to offer "Getting Acquainted with Watercolor"

The Copper Country Associated Artists (CCAA) will present "Getting Acquainted with Watercolor" with local artist Ellen Torola from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Friday evening, May 7, in their gallery at 112 Fifth Street.

Visitors are invited to participate in a step-by-step process of painting a simple watercolor. You will complete a painting in this one session. If you have watercolors, please bring them with you; however, paper and paints will be provided. There is no need to sign up. Welcome to a fun painting session!

For 32 years, well known artist Ellen Torola owned and operated the former Paint Box Gallery in Calumet, where she taught art classes and sold art supplies, frames and her own artwork. Although she has retired from the business, she continues to paint at home. Her work is found at the CCAA, the Vertin Gallery and at her home. Torola, who is self-taught, paints in watercolors, acrylics and colored pencil.

For more information visit

Music at Conglomerate Café

As part of your First Friday festivities, be sure to stop in for "After Hours" between 7 p.m. and Midnight Friday, May 7, at the Conglomerate Café, 104 Fifth Street. Enjoy a drink and dessert and some tunes by pianist / saxophonist John "Lefty" Munson. You might even bring your dancing shoes!

New exhibit by Ingrid Blixt to open May 6 at Community Arts Center

HANCOCK -- The Copper Country Community Arts Center is pleased to present new work by Escanaba artist Ingrid Blixt in the Kerredge Gallery through May 29. The exhibit, titled "Reconstructions," will open with a reception for the artist from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 6.

Ingrid Blixt, originally from Romania, brings to her work a life experience from a different cultural environment. She describes her work as Aesthetic Conceptualism and is inspired by the human condition.

"My Art has a global dimension: human," Blixt says. "I observe, interact with, and express the psychological and emotional dimensions of the human being. I focus on subtle generalities, common intimacies, and general valid truths, as: love, longing, death, hope -- which will never become over-used subjects, being eternally embedded in human nature."

Blixt uses a variety of techniques and materials to prepare her drawing surface. She applies plaster to wood panels and sands and primes the surface, leaving trowel marks along the edges. This creates an interesting textural effect emulating the imperfections of architectural walls.

"My love for murals inspired the surface preparation and after I drew the first time on a wall there was no going back to paper," Blixt explains,

This exhibit is supported by a grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. The Community Arts Center is located at 126 Quincy Street in Hancock. For more information call 482-2333.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Stupak issues statement on BP oil spill investigation

WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Congressman Bart Stupak, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, issued the following statement regarding the Oversight and Investigations May 12 hearing on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion and oil spill:

"BP has a long history with the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. We have investigated several spills in BP’s North Slope, Alaska drilling, including the 2006 spill that resulted in more than 200,000 gallons of oil leaking into the tundra. We investigated BP’s 2005 Texas City refinery explosion that killed 15 and injured more than 170. BP’s latest tragedy at the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf has resulted in 11 missing crew members and thousands of barrels of oil a day flowing into the Gulf waters, threatening some of our most valuable seafood fishing grounds, wetlands and tourism.

"Oversight and Investigations staff has been following the events and developments of this tragedy closely since the April 20 oil rig explosion and the ensuing oil spill. Right now this spill is at risk to be one of worst environmental disasters in U.S. history. I look forward to our Oversight and Investigations hearing next Wednesday, May 12, where we will hear from company officials and discuss what may have happened the day of the explosion as well as what efforts are being made to minimize the environmental effects of the spill.

"One area that we will investigate closely is whether the blowout preventer to be used in case of a spill at the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig had been tested and properly maintained for use at this deep water drilling facility. We also are looking into why remote control acoustic shut off switches, commonly used in offshore drilling elsewhere as a backup safety measure, were not utilized at the Deepwater Horizon rig. We will ask what steps were taken to test emergency response procedures and technologies should an accidental release of gas or oil at the drilling rig occur and what emergency plans were developed and shared with appropriate federal and state agencies in the event a spill occurred.

"Some of the techniques currently being used to contain the oil spill have never been used before in this deep of water -- we want to make sure all of the appropriate steps were taken to test these methods at these depths and to have a comprehensive response plan in place before a spill occurred.

"This is the first of what will likely be several hearings into what went wrong on April 20 and the following days. The answers to these questions will be vital to putting in place protections necessary to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again in the future.

"Full committee Chairman Henry Waxman, Energy and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Ed Markey, and I continue to monitor the situation closely. As we work to find answers to the critical questions that remain surrounding this potential environmental and economic disaster, our thoughts continue to be with the families of the crew members who were aboard the rig at the time of the explosion and the thousands who have mobilized to help contain and clean this spill."