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.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Backroom Boys to play at Copper Island Beach Club Nov. 20

Backroom Boys Poster courtesy John Munson.

HANCOCK -- The Copper Island Beach Club in Hancock is again bringing the Backroom Boys into the front room -- Bob Norden on his mellifluous trombone; John Munson with his multiplying saxophone, clarinet, and keyboard; and Oren Tikkanen on jazzy six-string banjo and guitar.

They will play from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. TONIGHT, Saturday, Nov. 20, at the Beach Club, located on the Hancock Waterfront at the bottom of Tezcuco Street.

Bob Norden plays an encore -- trombone solo -- during a recent appearance of the Backroom Boys at the Copper Island Beach Club in Hancock. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

"It will be a musical gumbo, a rhythmic boo-yaw, a note-worthy mojakka. You will feel like dancing, and maybe you will," says Tikkanen. "Take a traditional New Orleans attitude, mix in some rhythm and blues, swing, and old pop music, add a pinch of Copper country polka and waltz, throw in a tango -- that's the recipe for the Backroom Boys approach. It sure was fun last time, and it will be again if you show up."

Friday, November 19, 2010

Concerned citizens discuss possible uses for public land near County Courthouse

By Michele Bourdieu

Carolyn Peterson, organizer of a citizens' meeting to discuss potential uses of the two-block parcel of public property near the County Courthouse in Houghton, where Houghton County proposed building a Justice Center, leads discussion on various options proposed by the group. The meeting was held Nov. 14 in the First United Methodist Church in Hancock. (Photos by Keweenaw Now)

HANCOCK -- Following the "No" vote against Houghton County's Justice Center proposal on the Nov. 2 ballot, a group of concerned citizens met on Nov. 14 to brainstorm the best uses of the two-block piece of county-owned land where the county had proposed to build a $15 million jail and court facility -- just west of the Houghton County Courthouse.

Carolyn Peterson, who organized the meeting, first asked the group of 18 residents to break up into small groups of four or five to consider and discuss the question, "What is a good use of any or all of this property?"

The idea of having a park on this property was popular among most participants at the meeting.

"I grew up in New England, where every town has a town commons," said Elise Nelson. "I would love to see a green space with trees. Personally I would like a dog run -- a long stretch."

Craig Makens also mentioned he'd like to see a park, noting there is a shortage of park space in Houghton for almost any sport.

John Haeussler of Hancock noted he supported the idea of a Justice Center, but was disappointed at how it was presented to the public before the vote.

"I would love to see a park, and I'd love to see an athletic field there," Haeussler said. "I'd love to see a Justice Center first and foremost."

Haeussler said if the Justice Center were built there he believed the present Pewabic Street Community Garden, which is between the two blocks, might have to be moved, but could also be expanded.

A rough sketch of the county property to the west of the Courthouse shows the location of the Pewabic Street Community Garden between the east and west blocks of the property. The west block was the former location of the old Houghton High School (HHS).

Elena Buzova, who has worked on the Pewabic Street Community Garden since its inception, said she thought a farmers' market -- to be open on alternative days with the farmers' market in Hancock (the Tori) -- would fit well with both a park and the community garden in that space.*

Elena Buzova, left, speaks about the possibility of putting a farmers' market in part of the county-owned property near the Courthouse. Pictured here in the same group during the small-group discussion are, from left, Craig Makens, John Haeussler and Elise Nelson.

"It's a great space. It's in the middle of town. There could be enough parking space there," Buzova said. "I know that the health department has some money for building a farmers' market."

Andrea Puzakulich, fiber artist and designer, said a park could include art as well.

"We could have an art fair on there as far as I'm concerned," Puzakulich noted.

The park discussion also led to suggestions of a pavilion or community building (possibly to accommodate groups such as teens and seniors), as well as ideas for different seasonal activities -- from picnic area to sledding hill.

Rolf Peterson lists group suggestions for uses of a public park on the county-owned land near the Courthouse in Houghton.

Eventually the group narrowed the major items down to six main uses to be voted on: 1) Justice Center 2) rehab / treatment center 3) housing 4) community building 5) outdoor park 6) retail space.

Barry Fink of the Copper Country League of Women Voters, a group that helped publicize the county's ballot proposal for the Justice Center, spoke in favor of putting a Justice Center on the property because of the need for a better jail facility.**

"To utilize property that we have that is adjacent to our Courthouse," Fink said, "can allow us to do something to take care of our needs in the most cost-contained way that is available to us."

Carolyn Peterson said she liked the idea of having the Justice Center in the middle of town, next to a green space and a garden.

"I do believe the Justice Center and the jail should be a place for rehabilitation, and I think the best way to rehabilitate people is in community," Peterson said, "particularly near green space."

Peterson added many towns have done this -- put a jail right next to a garden and had inmates help tend the property.

Haeussler noted the present facility has no accommodation for rehabilitating people incarcerated in the jail.

"That was part of the proposal -- to allow some rehabilitation services to take place," he explained.

Mary Ann Predebon said she believed there needs to be a compromise between what the county wanted in their proposal and what the people of the county -- many of whom live at or below the poverty level -- can afford.

"This is not a wealthy county by any means," Predebon said.

George Dewey, who led a citizen protest against the proposal as it was presented, noted the Justice Center issue -- in terms of the jail and Courthouse needs -- has got to be accommodated, possibly by building something smaller.***

"Another option is building onto the Courthouse," Dewey said. "You would lose parking over there if that option were adopted."

Pictured in this small group are, from left, Mary Ann Predebon, George Dewey, Barry Fink and Carolyn Peterson.

Susanna Peters mentioned a need for a low-security drug / alcohol treatment center for inmates -- and non-inmates -- dealing with substance abuse. She said she envisioned a much smaller scale for the Justice Center.

Participants in the small-group discussion listed their ideas for uses of the county land and presented these to the group as a whole before a "straw" vote was taken to determine the group's priorities. Pictured in this group are, from left, Andrea Puzakulich, Mary Marchaterre, Susanna Peters, Rolf Peterson and Tracie Williams.

Predebon pointed out that it was mentioned at a County Commissioners' meeting that 28 percent of felons released from prisons end up back in a county jail. If the county jail is too big, it could end up housing inmates from outside Houghton County.

The group discussed various ideas for using part of the property for housing, including possibly senior housing. Presently the block to the west, the former site of the old Houghton High School (which could be divided into ten 50' by 100' lots) is being offered for sale. It is now zoned for business, but has some restrictive covenants concerning what can be built there. These can be changed or removed with a majority vote of the Houghton City Council.

A community building was suggested for part of the space.

Haeussler noted the need for a building where technology for teleconferencing would be available, since people actually sometimes go all the way to Marquette for this purpose.

Most participants were in favor of having an outdoor park on part of the property.

Jay Green observed that the City of Houghton would need supplementary funding to support maintenance of a new park, since the city already assumes responsibility for maintenance of several parks.

Gretchen Janssen said while private housing or retail uses would not require public funding, the the park would be the least expensive of the remaining options requiring public funding. She said the park might attract community support or an endowment that would pay for maintenance.

Gretchen Janssen, left, takes notes during the small-group discussion. Also pictured in this group are, from left, Sarah Cheney, Jay Green and Erik Lilleskov.

Dewey added the park is only an option if the facility needs are dealt with first -- the jail and the courthouse.

"The facility needs don't go away," he said.

The results of the group's vote showed priorities as follows: 17 for the park, 11 for the community building, 8 for the Justice Center, 6 for the rehab/treatment center, 4 for housing (including public and private) and 1 for retail.

This chart shows the tally of votes from the citizens' group, indicating priorities among the six main uses they suggested for the two blocks of county land near the Houghton County Courthouse.

After the vote, participants discussed what the next step should be for communicating their concerns to county officials and the general public.

Sarah Cheney, one of the organizers of the Pewabic Street Community Garden, said she would like to see town hall meetings to allow more public participation in the discussion.*

Peterson said it would be important to present a spirit of openness and to have another meeting for further discussion.

Editor's Notes:
* Click here to see and listen to Keweenaw Now guest reporter Eric Rosenberg's audio interview with Sarah Cheney and Elena Buzova last summer concerning the Pewabic Street Community Garden.

** Read about the need for a new jail facility and some public reactions before the Nov. 2 ballot in Keweenaw Now guest reporter William Frantz's August 2010 article, "County justice center proponents seek public support."

See also the Houghton County Justice Center Sourcebook.

*** Read George Dewey's August 2010 article, "Reasons to VOTE NO on the Houghton County Justice Center."

Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra to perform chamber music Nov. 19

HOUGHTON -- The Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra will perform "The Spiritual and Transcendent," a Fall Recital Series concert, at 7 p.m. TONIGHT, Friday, Nov. 19, at Portage Lake United Church in Houghton.

This inspiring chamber music features sublime and touching instrumental and vocal works performed by local student and community musicians.

A suggested donation of $5 is accepted at the door.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Visiting artists offer family concert to benefit Calumet Art Center

By Jane VanEvera*

CALUMET -- On the evening of Friday, Nov. 12, regional artists Jym Mooney and Carol Lee Hopkins gave an outstanding concert to an appreciative audience at the Calumet Art Center (CAC) Performance Hall. Donating time and talents to support the CAC and quality events for local Copper Country residents, this Milwaukee duo brought a family-friendly atmosphere to their performance. Sharing many of their own lyrics and songs, Jym and Carol sang intimate and heart-felt stories of life, love, grief, goodness, family personalities.

Jym Mooney and Carol Lee Hopkins of Milwaukee sing their original songs to an appreciative audience at the Calumet Art Center on Nov. 12. (Photo © 2010 and courtesy Ed Gray)

Reminiscent of a Peter Paul and Mary concert, these refreshing, down-to-earth, sweet harmony with an attitude performers played to a just-right volume and balance of voice and instrument. The audience could actually hear the lyrics and relate to them personally, shedding an appropriate tear, laugh or deep sigh. What parent or sibling couldn't sympathize with the mothers who went to the battlefields to reclaim their sons ("I Have Come To Take My Son Home")? How many families don't recognize dear Aunt Jan who shops the antique stores for her beloved spoons? And who knew that vultures return to Hinkley, Ohio, annually? It was an evening of fun, good-listening music for ears of any age. Kids love these tunes.

This two-hour musical event and amazing talent was brought to Calumet by these generous artists who donated all their travel and lodging expenses and fees as well as the monetary donations taken at the door. They are genuinely supportive of the arts particularly when and where art funding has been so deeply cut out of school programs and community events. The communities of the Copper Country are fortunate to have welcomed many well known and highly esteemed artists from outside the local area. The Calumet Art Center has brought affordable family events to this community in the 18 months of its existence and will continue to do so with community support and attendance.

CDs of Jym and Carol's music are available at The CAC for $15. Consider them for holiday gifting -- great for the kids, too -- or for your own enjoyment. Check out their website: Get great art. Support your local Calumet Art Center. Visit us. Request or sign up for classes in clay, weaving, or something of your interest.

Open hours are Monday - Friday, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Located on the corner of Red Jacket / 5th Street behind the Keweenaw Heritage Center in the white building with the spire.

December holiday events

Join us for the Lighting of the Community Christmas Tree at 6 p.m. on First Friday, Dec. 3. Warm refreshments will be served at the Calumet Art Center beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Plan to attend the Christmas Concert at the Calumet Art Center at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10. The concert will feature vocalists Monica Rovano and Courtney Clisch, guitarist Cathy Isaacson, violinist Libby Meyer, and organist Kathleen Alatalo-Arten.

To learn more about the Calumet Art Center visit

*Editor's Note: Guest writer Jane VanEvera is a Calumet Art Center Board member and CAC chair of visual arts.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Finlandia to present student, alumnae Fashion Show Nov. 20

HANCOCK, MI – The Finlandia University International School of Art and Design (ISAD) will present "Muoti," a student/alumnae fall fashion show at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20, at the Finnish American Heritage Center, Hancock.

"Muoti" (pronounced MOO-oh-tee) is the Finnish word for fashion.

In a runway-style fashion show, current ISAD Fiber Arts and Fashion Design students, as well as Finlandia alumnae, will showcase original garments and accessories for men, women, and children.

Come see original designs in garments, re-purposed accessories, costumes, knitwear, and more.

The fashion show is free and open to the public. Donations to benefit the Fiber Arts and Fashion Design program are welcome.

The Finnish American Heritage Center is located at 435 Quincy Street, downtown Hancock. For more information, please contact Phyllis Fredendall, associate ISAD professor, at 906-487-7376.

Nordic Film Series to feature Finnish romantic comedy Nov. 18

HANCOCK -- One Foot Under is the feature film of this month’s Nordic Film Series at the Finlandia University Finnish American Heritage Center, Hancock. The film will be shown twice -- at 2 p.m. and at 6 p.m. -- on Thursday, Nov. 18.

One Foot Under (Toinen jalka haudasta), released in 2009, is a Finnish romantic comedy that tells the story of 35-year old gardener Visa Vuorio who learns that he only has a few months to live. When a young female reporter offers to write a series of articles about him, Visa’s life changes.

But when he learns there’s been a mix-up, and he is in fact perfectly healthy, Visa is reluctant to share the truth with his girlfriend and the reporter, with whom he has fallen in love.

The 94-minute film is in Finnish with English subtitles.

There is no charge to attend the film, but donations are accepted. The Finnish American Heritage Center is located at 435 Quincy St., downtown Hancock. For additional information, please call 906-487-7549.

Friends of Portage Library to hold Book Harvest sale Nov. 20

HOUGHTON -- The Friends of the Portage Lake District Library invite everyone to their Book Harvest from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 20. New and gently used books will be sold to raise money for library projects and materials that the Friends provide.

The Book Harvest also includes a feast of pumpkin treats. People are encouraged to bring pumpkin cookies, pumpkin pies, and any favorite pumpkin dish to try. Foods will not be for sale, but rather are for everyone to sample and enjoy. Recipes can be shared and copies can be made at the library. Bringing a pumpkin dish is not required for participation in this event.

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

Portage Library launches newly redesigned Web site

The Portage Lake District Library is excited to announce the launch of its newly redesigned website. The new layout allows for easier navigation and, along with brand new online resources, gives users increased access from home.

The new front page displays recent library news, library hours, and different library resources and events. There is also a library catalog "quick search" box and account access for library patrons to place holds, renew books, and much more. Those who are interested can sign up for a weekly e-newsletter announcing that week’s events and recently added books, audiobooks, and movies.

Online content and library information are organized into six drop down menus at the top of the page:

ABOUT US -- Find information about library history, policies, staff, employment, and the Board of Trustees. You can also read the latest edition of the library’s print newsletter.

CATALOGS -- Search the library’s collection along with the catalogs of most Michigan libraries, public and academic, through UPCAT and MeLCat. Go here to access the Great Lake Digital Library and download audiobooks and e-books.

ONLINE RESOURCES -- Free access anywhere, anytime to online databases, magazines, e-books, continuing education classes and more. PLDL staff is most excited about our brand new resources -- Universal Class, Mango Languages, and Ancestry Library Edition:

Universal Class offers over 500 classes, some that meet Continuing Education Unit (CEU) requirements. Topics range from business to computers to history to self-improvement and are taught by real professors.

Mango Languages is an online language learning system teaching 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.

Ancestry Library Edition offers all the genealogical research resources of the popular Vital records, census data, birth and death records, and more are all available. Unfortunately, due to licensing restrictions, Ancestry Library Edition can only be accessed inside the library.

EVENTS -- View a listing of library events on the redesigned calendar. Information is also available on the weekly children's story hour and annual summer reading program.

SERVICES -- Find out how to get a library card, place an interlibrary loan request, reserve the Community Room for your group, get on one of the 15 public computers, and access the library’s WIFI network.

SUPPORT -- There are many ways to support the library. Find information on donating, volunteering and the Friends of the Library group.

The public is encouraged to check out the new website to experience all the information available to them and come back often to stay up to date on everything going on at the Portage Lake District Library.

Open-pit iron ore mine proposed for northern Wisconsin near Lake Superior

MILWAUKEE, Wis. -- According to an article posted today in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel On Line, a company called Gogebic Taconite, an affiliate of a privately held coal mining company, has purchased mineral rights on 22,000 acres in Ashland and Iron counties in northern Wisconsin and proposes spending more than $1 billion to develop a large open-pit iron ore mine on an ancient mountain range.

A spokesperson from The Nature Conservancy says the organization has concerns over the effect mining would have on pine martens, woodland birds such as the black-throated blue warbler and on the Kakagon and Bad River sloughs, the largest such vegetative areas on Lake Superior. Read the article.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Newly elected Hancock City Councilors sworn in

HANCOCK -- Two new councilors joined the Hancock City Council as a result of the Nov. 2, 2010, elections.

John Haeussler ran unopposed and was elected to a vacant at-large council seat for a four-year term. Haeussler also serves on the Hancock Housing Commission and is vice-president of the Hancock Housing Foundation.

Newly elected Hancock City Councilor John Haeussler receives the oath of office from City Clerk Karen Haischer during the annual organizational meeting of the Hancock City Council on Nov. 10, 2010. (Photo © 2010 and courtesy Roland Burgan)

Jeremie Moore ran as a write-in candidate for the Ward II Council seat and was elected to that seat for a two-year term. Moore is employed by BHK Child Development and is a member of the Hancock Fire Department.

Jeremie Moore, newly elected to represent Ward II on the Hancock City Council, is sworn in by City Clerk Karen Haischer during the Council's Nov. 10 organizational meeting. (Photo © 2010 and courtesy Roland Burgan)

City Councilors At Large Lisa McKenzie, Ted Belej and James Hainault were each re-elected to a four-year term to end in 2014 and were also sworn in at the Nov. 10 meeting.

Hancock Mayor William Laitila was nominated and re-appointed as Mayor for a one-year term by a unanimous vote of the Council. Councilor Jim Hainault was also re-appointed as Mayor Pro-Tem for a one-year term by a unanimous Council vote.

Also at the Nov. 10 special meeting, the City Council members voted to award the contract for construction of the proposed 2009 Sanitary Sewer Improvements project to MJO Contracting, Inc., for the Total Base Bid for a total contract amount of $3,092,249.60 contingent upon Rural Development's concurrence with the award and the availability of funding.

The Council also voted to award OHM the engineering and professional services agreement to design the Hancock Beach Storm Water EPA Grant Project at a cost of $42,839.00.

Visit the City of Hancock Web site to read the draft minutes of this Nov. 10, 2010, meeting.

The City of Hancock will hold its regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2010. Preceding the meeting, at 7:30 p.m., a public hearing will be held to receive public comment on proposed Ordinance #276 "Purchasing and Sales Ordinance."

Click here to read the Agenda for the Nov. 17, 2010, City Council meeting.

Keweenaw Krayons offers art classes for Nov., Dec.

MOHAWK -- Keweenaw Krayons art offerings continue through November and into December. All classes/workshops/open art studio time will be held at Keweenaw Krayons Art Center, located in the Horizons Alternative High School Building, corner of 2nd St. and Stanton Ave., Mohawk. Park in back and come in the far south entrance.

A mosaic map of the Upper Peninsula, made with a variety of materials, is displayed at Keweenaw Krayons during the October Art Night Out, introducing the public to potential art classes at Keweenaw Krayons' Art Center in the Horizons Alternative High School in Mohawk. (Photos by Keweenaw Now)

To register for any of the classes or to find out more information call 337-4706 or email

All ages are welcome at all events, but youth younger than eight are asked to bring an older teen or adult along. Some exceptions can be made depending on the artist and class offered.

Here are the classes being offered now:

Natural Jewelry with Katelyn Kronshage: 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays in November. $5 per session. Price includes supplies to make a simple piece. Additional supplies will be available for purchase and/or participants are invited to bring their own special items (beads, feathers, stones, driftwood, trinkets, etc) to incorporate into their creation.

Katelyn Kronshage of Calumet displays some of her jewelry made of natural materials during Keweenaw Krayons' Art Night Out in October. Kronshage, a recent graduate of Western Michigan University, is an Ameri-Corps teaching assistant at Calumet High School.

Open Studio with Sue Fouts: 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. (or later if enough people want to keep creating). Tuesdays in November. Free but donations always welcome! Come create a piece of art using our vast supply of donated materials. Sue might have a special project going with cost ranging from $3 to $10.

Sue Fouts, left, of Mohawk, and Rachel Tober of Copper City welcome visitors to the October Art Night Out at Keweenaw Krayons. Sue teaches paper making art (samples of her cards are on the table) and other crafts, and Rachel specializes in mosaic ...

Rachel Tober displays some of her mosaic art.

Working on an art or craft project at home? Bring it to Open Studio and create while socializing with others.

Artist Diana Langdon and her son, Luke Malnar, of Copper City work together on découpage during Keweenaw Krayons' Art Night Out. Keweenaw Krayons classes are open to both adults and youth.

Digital Photography Class for Beginners with Sarah Grieger: 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursdays in November through December 30. $7 per session. Bring your own Digital Camera and learn your way around it!

Sarah Grieger of Mohawk invites visitors to sign up for her digital photography class during the Art Night Out at Keweenaw Krayons. Sarah also teaches a class in Zines when there is a demand for it.

Beginners Photography will start with the basics of photography and build up to how to use the more complex features offered on most digital cameras (don't worry if you think your camera might not have these features -- we will work around it!) The class will cover framing, portraits, lighting, exposure, and simply improving your day to day snapshots.

An invitation to artists from Carol Rose, Keweenaw Krayons interim director:

Carol Rose, Keweenaw Krayons interim director, posing here for fun as you-know-who, is trying to retire. Meanwhile she offers a special gift to artists during the holidays ...

Attention Artists and Crafters!

Looking for a place to create, display and market your work over the holidays? How does a no-rent, no-utilities, no-commission offer sound?

Too good to be true? Not!

The Ramblin' Rose Art Center in Mohawk offers you free space from now through Dec. 31. Team up with others to provide staff. Set up your own displays.

CALL or email NOW! Call 906-369-4314 or email to reserve your spot.

The Ramblin' Rose Art Center is also available to purchase (will consider land contract), rent to own, or "just rent." See ad in right-hand column on this page.

More photos of artists at Keweenaw Krayons' Art Night Out:

Carol Rose, Keweenaw Krayons interim director, with artist Clyde Mikkola in his studio at Keweenaw Krayons, located in the Horizons Alternative High School in Mohawk. The two artists have worked together for a long time, even before Rose founded Keweenaw Krayons. He was one of the Ramblin' Rose Art Center's first artists.

Lyanne Stemler of Lake Linden, daughter of the late artist Renée Stemler, demonstrates how to make bracelets out of shelf paper in the Renée Stemler Memorial Art Room at Keweenaw Krayons. Learning from Lyanne is her art teacher ...

... Danielle Alfafara of Hancock, who teaches art at Lake Linden schools (K-12). "This is the first time I've ever been here," Danielle said. "It's a lot of fun."

Becky Weeks, right, of Lake Medora, demonstrates the art of making Temari, Japanese hand balls, to Cathy Isaacson of Mohawk.

Rachel Niemela of Kearsarge teaches knitting and creative writing at Keweenaw Krayons.

Keweenaw Krayons is a family affair for artist Christy Toepper, right, and her three daughters, from left, Emily, Sandra and Claire. Christy has taught paper making projects like those displayed on the table.

Fiber artist Betsi Arend, left, of Eagle River (a graduate of Finlandia's International School of Art and Design) enjoys volunteering at Keweenaw Krayons. Here she welcomes visiting artists Bob Dawson and Sharon Abramson of Calumet's Copper Country Associated Artists.

Young Mohawk residents, from left, Nikki McClelland, Greta Westerinen and Cierra Herstrom enjoy participating in Keweenaw Krayons activities.

Darlene Basto, who has worked several years helping Keweenaw Krayons obtain grants for their programs, poses with fellow fundraiser Pablo Pig Casso.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Forum on journalism and environment to be Nov. 18

HOUGHTON -- Glenn Puitt, an investigative journalist with the Michigan Land Use Institute (MLUI), will talk about the power and importance of journalism in preserving the environment, at a public forum from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 18, in the U.J. Noblet Forestry Building Atrium at Michigan Tech.

Puitt will talk about how students and teachers can adopt a journalism model for writing about the environment; basic writing formats and styles; the importance of images and video; and various ways to distribute environmental stories.

Before joining the MLUI, Puitt was a reporter at the Las Vegas Review Journal. He twice was named best print reporter in Las Vegas.

Puitt's presentation is hosted by the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative, part of the statewide Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative, and the Michigan Tech Center for Science and Environmental Outreach of the Western UP Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education.

For more information, please contact Joan Chadde, program coordinator, at or 487-3341.

Portage Library to host environmental community discussion Nov. 17

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library will host author Michael P. Nelson at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 17, as he presents "Why it’s wrong to wreck the world: What do we owe the future?"

Michael P. Nelson believes that while climate disruption and environmental degradation are scientific and technological issues, they are fundamentally moral issues.

"They call us to actions grounded in justice and integrity," Nelson explains.

Drawing on essays from his new co-edited book MORAL GROUND: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril, Nelson will tell what he and co-editor Kathleen Dean Moore learned when they asked one hundred of the world’s visionaries the urgent question, "What do we owe the future?" Nelson and Moore are calling for a national conversation about our personal and collective responsibilities to the future. With guest readers, stories, music by local musicians from the band Rhythm 203, and several philosophical adventures, Nelson shows why technological fixes are not enough. He explores reasons why it’s wrong to leave behind a ransacked and dangerously unstable world and suggests novel ideas for how we might act in ways worthy of us as moral beings.

Copies of his book will be available for purchase after the program.

Nelson holds a joint appointment as an associate professor of environmental ethics and philosophy in the Lyman Briggs College, the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, and the Department of Philosophy at Michigan State University. In addition to many essays and articles, he is the co-author or co-editor of four books. Nelson is also resident philosopher of the Isle Royale wolf/moose project and spends part of each summer working with the animal ecologists on the island. He is the co-creator and co-director of the Conservation Ethics Group, an environmental ethics and problem solving consultancy group. Nelson’s research and teaching focus is environmental ethics and philosophy, and he holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Lancaster University, England.

Library programs are free and everyone is invited. For more information, please call the library at 482-4570 or visit

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Informational meetings on Orvana Minerals Copperwood mine to be Nov. 16, Nov. 17, Dec. 2

MARQUETTE -- The Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition (UPEC) will sponsor an informational meeting about the proposed Copperwood Mining project, located outside Wakefield, Mich., at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 2, at the Ford Center in Alberta. Dave Anderson, project coordinator for Orvana Resources US Corp., will discuss the Copperwood Project and the Environmental Summary of Work to Date.

Two public information meetings will also be held -- one at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 16, at the Wakefield VFW Hall and one at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 17, at Gogebic Community College, Ironwood.

Anderson has a Bachelor of Science from Northland College in Environmental Studies. For over 20 years he has been providing environmental consulting for government agencies, tribes and environmental organizations. Mining experience has included extensive research and consulting on the White Pine Mine and the Crandon Project. Anderson currently sits on the Gogebic County Conservation District Board of Directors, Western UP Citizen Advisory Committee and Walleyes for Tomorrow Board of Directors. Past clients include The Nature Conservancy (MI and WI), Department of Defense, International Paper, Orvana Minerals, Gogebic County, USEPA and many others.

Orvana's website states that the company is a low-cost gold producer with significant growth opportunities and a strong balance sheet. Orvana owns and operates the Don Mario Mine in Eastern Bolivia and is developing two other assets: the recently acquired El Valle-Boinás/Carlés gold-copper project in Northern Spain and the Copperwood copper project in the Upper Peninsula.

Copperwood was added in September 2008. Orvana entered into mineral leases covering 712 hectares near the inactive White Pine Mine, where copper and silver were produced 1953-1996. Based on current assumptions, the Copperwood Project is targeted to start production in 2013. Formed in 1992 through the amalgamation of two Canadian mining companies, Orvana’s initial business was to acquire properties with gold exploration potential.

For more information about Orvana Minerals visit their Web site. See also their November corporate presentation on their Web site, which has some details about the Copperwood project.

From DC Bureau: Midwest mining rush threatens water: Part II: Tourism vs. Mining

by Tiffany Danitz Pache
Posted Nov. 4, 2010 on DC Bureau

[Editor's Note: This is the second in a series of six articles from investigating the sulfide mining boom in the Midwest and its potential effect on tourism, water and the environment.]

Excerpt from this article:

Many local residents where mines are being proposed do not believe the mining industry’s claims about environmentally safe mining and the number of mining jobs. In Michigan’s UP where Rio Tinto’s Kennecott Eagle has been permitted and has started mine construction, Bill Thompson, a resident and business owner, says, "Kennecott has not operated a mine without having some kind of environmental accident at their site. The concern for us, as a retailer here, is that this proposed mine, whether they can do it safely or not, is situated below the Salmon Trout River and it empties into Lake Superior. With recent history with the Gulf (of Mexico), you don’t have to look further into it to figure that any environmental accident will go into Lake Superior and Lake Superior is more valuable than anything they are going to pull out of that mine. I don’t feel it is worth the risk for the few jobs they are proposing to create."

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