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Friday, April 15, 2011

Two events to honor Betty Chavis, benefit new scholarship fund Apr. 16

HOUGHTON -- Two events will be held tomorrow, Saturday, April 16, to honor Betty Chavis, former director of Michigan Tech's multi-ethnic programs. Proceeds will benefit Michigan Tech's new Betty Chavis Scholarship Fund.

Betty Chavis, former director of Michigan Tech's multi-ethnic programs. (Photo courtesy Michigan Tech University)

Chavis is known for her commitment to diversity and young people, and the scholarship fund in her name will assist undergraduate and graduate students.

The first event on behalf of her scholarship fund is "So You Think You Can't Dance: We'll Show You How," which will be from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, April 16, in the Memorial Union Commons. All are welcome to pass the word, come and support the effort.

The event, hosted by the students and alumnae of the Society of Intellectual Sisters, is in conjunction with their 20-Year Reunion festivities during Spring Fling Weekend. Admission is by donation, and all proceeds will go toward the scholarship fund.

For more information, contact Lydia Brame at , or Darnishia Slade at

Chavis came to Michigan Tech as an admissions officer in the 1980s and then moved to Educational Opportunity, where she directed Michigan Tech’s multi-ethnic programs. Most recently, she recruited students on behalf of the Graduate School. Whatever her post, she was a mom away from home for dozens of African American and African students, as well as for students of every other race and creed.

"I have always been impressed by her ability to attract and support young people and give them the direction they need," said colleague Chris Anderson, special assistant to the president for diversity. "When it comes to diversity at Michigan Tech and in the community, she paved the way. When she first came here, Betty introduced local people who had only seen African Americans on TV to real people of color."

The community knows Chavis, who is now "retired," in part through her leadership in spearheading the annual Parade of Nations. She has also been active in other community organizations, such as the Barbara Kettle Gundlach Shelter Home for Abused Women, for whom she recently hosted a fundraising music event and silent auction.

Betty Chavis is pictured here with Michael Shupe in Hancock's Orpheum Theatre on April 10, 2011, when she volunteered (the second year in a row) to MC the Annual Music Event and Silent Auction fundraiser for the Barbara Gundlach Shelter Home for Abused Women. Shupe, owner of Studio Pizza and the Orpheum, donated a portion of pizza sales that day for the Shelter. (Photo by Keweenaw Now

"Betty always uses the word 'icon,' but for us, she is an icon," said Anderson. "There will never be another Betty."

The second event will be a banquet held at 5:30 p.m., Saturday, April 16, at the Magnuson Franklin Square Inn. Proceeds from the banquet will benefit the new Betty Chavis Scholarship Fund.

The banquet includes a gourmet buffet of medallions of beef tenderloin, Italian broiled chicken breast, cheese ravioli, a variety of side dishes, desserts and a champagne toast.

Tickets are $50 and are available at, by calling 906-487-2073, or at the Michigan Tech Box Office, located in the Student Development Complex on MacInnes Drive. Seating is limited, so interested persons are encouraged to purchase their tickets immediately.

To give directly to the Betty Chavis Scholarship Fund, visit, call the Michigan Tech Fund at 906-487-2310, or mail a check made out to the Michigan Tech Fund to Betty Chavis Scholarship Fund, c/o Michigan Tech Fund, 1400 Townsend Drive, Houghton, MI 49931-1295.

For more information, contact Chris Anderson at or Carol Argentati at 487-2474 or

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Updated: Run / Walk April 16 to benefit Japan disaster victims

During the April 1 Khana Khazana Japanese lunch held in the Michigan Tech Memorial Union Food Court, Michigan Tech students Motoyuki Kidokoro, left, of Japan, one of the event organizers, and Inkyong Kim from South Korea provide information on the April 16 Walk / Run fundraiser for victims of Japan's earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear reactor incidents. The students also sold colorful t-shirts to promote the fundraiser. Click on photos for larger versions. (Photos by Keweenaw Now)

HOUGHTON -- The public is encouraged to participate in a fundraising Walk/Run for Japan at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 16. Registration for the event will be from noon to 5 p.m. on Friday, Apr. 15, at the Spring Fling and from 8:30 a.m. - 9:45 am. Saturday at the Rozsa Parking lot in Houghton.

The 5K run and 3K walk will begin and end at Michigan Tech’s campus, looping through downtown Houghton.

Half the proceeds of the April 1 Khana Khazana Japanese lunch at Michigan Tech are being donated to aid Japan disaster victims. Pictured here is photographer Brian Parmeter, ordering a variety of Japanese dishes from the cooks -- Finlandia students Chisato Ota, Rei Hirakawa and Airi Natsumushi -- all from Japan -- and Michigan Tech student Divia Dhalluri from India.

There is no registration fee, but the suggested donation is $10. Proceeds will go via the American Red Cross to those who have suffered from the multiple disasters in Japan -- including the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear reactor incidents. Registration forms are also available at:

Helping organize the benefit activities were Kazuya Tajiri, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics from Kumamoto in southern Japan, and Motoyuki Kidokoro, an accounting major from Kawasaki, west of Tokyo.

The Houghton High School Key Club will also be selling Japan tee shirts at the event.

To obtain more information or to volunteer, contact: Kazuya Tajiri at

Click here for a map of the route.

Editor's Update: See the article, "Michigan Tech responds to the Japanese disaster," by Jillian Schwab, on Tech Today.

Khana Khanza to feature Japanese, Thai, Italian cuisine Apr. 15

HOUGHTON -- Dishes from Japan, Thailand and Italy are on the menu this week at Khana Khazana (food treasure), a special ethnic lunch, which will be cooked by international students and served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Friday, Apr. 15, in the Michigan Tech Memorial Union Food Court.

Jeremy Sandrik, left, Michigan Tech graduate student in chemistry and Keweenaw Now guest writer and photographer, enjoys the opportunity to taste several Japanese dishes at the April 1 Khana Khazana lunch served in the Memorial Union Food Court at Michigan Tech. Half the proceeds of the Japanese Khana Khazana will go to earthquake relief in Japan. Cooks / servers for this lunch, pictured here, from left, are Finlandia University students Chisato Ota, Rei Hirakawa and Airi Natsumushi -- all from Japan -- and Michigan Tech students Rui Pan from China and Divia Dhalluri from India. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)*

Lunchers and munchers will enjoy Sushi Rolls (a Japanese dish of vinegared rice topped with ingredients such as fish or other seafood); Pad Thai with Shrimp (a stir-fried rice-noodle dish with fish sauce, tamarind juice and chili peppers); and Tiramisu for dessert (a popular Italian cake).

A full meal costs $6, and each dish is available a la carte for $2. A free fountain soda, tea or coffee comes with a full meal.

Khana Khazana is a collaboration of international students and Michigan Tech Dining Services.

*Editor's Note: A Run / Walk for Japan -- a disaster relief fundraiser -- will be held at 10 a.m. this Saturday, April 16. Details coming soon.

Letter from Jessica Koski: Gov. Snyder, halt Eagle Mine, consider long-term impacts

To the editor:

I submitted a letter to Michigan Governer Rick Snyder on April 13 to urge him to use his authority to promptly issue an Executive Order calling for an immediate halt to activity at the Eagle Mine site, until the following points are considered. I wrote this letter in support of a recent citizen coalition "WAVE" letter to Snyder on March 24 (1).

1. Cumulative impacts of the Eagle Project. There should be a holistic impact study of the mine, mill and road, and six additional adjacent prospective projects that all add up (2). This includes impacts to fresh-water resources, wetlands habitat, social well-being, and culture (including federally entrusted treaty rights dependent upon uncontaminated fish, game, berries, and traditional medicines). A cumulative impact study should meaningfully involve the public and tribal nations throughout the process to help inform the community and decision-makers.

2. Short and long-term costs and benefits. The Eagle Project may offer much needed temporary employment, but what will be the long-term economic costs and impacts on jobs? What will be the impacts to the tourism, recreation, gaming and other industries that realistically cannot co-exist with large-scale extractive industry? Who will pay to clean up potential damage to natural resources beyond the company’s $17 million dollar assurance bond? (3) An independent study of the short- and long-term costs and benefits should be commissioned.

3. A state mining tax. Kennecott, a subsidiary of mining conglomerate Rio Tinto which is based in London, plans to profit $4.7 billion from the Eagle ore body. During our hard economic times, what does the state of Michigan expect to get in return with apparently no mining tax law? (4)

4. Mitigation of a religious Native American site Migi zii wa sin (Eagle Rock). Michigan State Administrative Law Judge Richard Patterson recommended that "provisions be made to avoid direct impacts to Eagle Rock that may interfere with religious practices theron." (5) The National Congress of American Indians has also called for Federal and State action to guarantee the protection and preservation of Eagle Rock from the consequences of mining operations by Kennecott Eagle Minerals. (6)

It’s possible to envision alternative sustainable development opportunities for Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Traditional economic theorists, such as Adam Smith, believed economic growth to be dependent upon external capital and extraction of more resources. However, true economic progress is self-sustaining and driven from within, as leading economic scholar Paul Romer terms "endogenous growth theory" where people have an "incentive to go out and discover things like ideas, not to do things like dig up another cubic yard of iron ore." (7)

It is not too late to realize and overcome the socially divisive impacts already affecting the community by a multinational mining corporation. It doesn’t have to be a choice between jobs or a healthy environment, we have a right to demand both. We need leadership from all levels of government -- peoples lives, culture and future are at stake, not just jobs.


Jessica L. Koski
Citizen, Baraga, Michigan
Member, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community
Master of Environmental Management Candidate ’11
Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies


1. Click here for WAVE letter to Gov. Snyder.
2. See "Rio Tinto to enter nickel market with US$300 million Eagle Mine commitment" (Rio Tinto media release: Dec. 17, 2007).
3. See See Gabriel Caplett, "Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak Reiterates Concerns With Rio Tinto Mine" (Headwaters News: July 19, 2010).
4. See Charlotte Loonsfoot, "Counting the dollars" (Letter to Marquette Mining Journal: March 21, 2011).
5. Click here to read the State of Michigan State Office of Administrative Hearings and Rules document on the Petitions of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Huron Mountain Club, National Wildlife Federation and Yellow Dog Watershed Environmental Preserve, Inc., on permits issued to the Kennecott Eagle Minerals Company.(See especially pp. 170-172 and Judge Patterson's statement on p. 177.)
6. Click here to read The National Congress of American Indians Resolution #ABQ-10-078: "Calling for Federal and State Action to Guarantee the Protection and Preservation of Eagle Rock from the Consequences of Mining Operations by Kennecott Eagle Minerals."
7. Paul Romer in "An Interview with Paul Romer on Economic Growth," by Russell Roberts (Library of Economics and Liberty: Nov. 5, 2007).

Editor's Note:
Jessica Koski, author of this letter, spoke in defense of Eagle Rock and against the Rio Tinto/ Kennecott Eagle Mine at the 2010 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Rio Tinto in London, England. Rio Tinto's 2011 AGM is being held today, April 14, 2011, in London.

Photo: Jessica Koski of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, author of this letter, speaks at the 2009 Protect the Earth event at Eagle Rock. (File photo by Keweenaw Now)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Club Indigo to present Mongolian film Apr. 15

CALUMET -- The MuBeta Psi music fraternity in conjunction with the Superior National Bank, Hancock, and chef Cormac Ronan, Shelden Grilll, Houghton, will present the April 15th Calumet Theatre's monthly Club Indigo.

The film is a rare treat from Mongolia, The Story of the Weeping Camel, winner of many international 2004-5 awards and rated a rare 100-percent fresh by all 40 Rotten Tomatoes critics. It tells the true story of a family of nomads living on the Gobi desert who have a problem when one of their camels refuses to feed its newborn colt, to allow it to starve to death.

Beautifully filmed in color against the shades of tan of the desert and in the family's colorful yurt is this fascinating tale of the Mongolian family who totally ignore the cameras and proceed with their daily responsibilities and the unexpected problem at hand. As a contrast to our modern rat race, it's a warm, unforgettable experience.

The Story of the Weeping Camel will be shown at 7:15 p.m., Friday, April 15, preceded at 6 p.m. by a buffet of Asian delicacies from China to India and Tibet, from the chefs at the Keweenaw Co-op, Hancock -- caterers who specialize in exotic foods.

Cost: $18 for food and film. $5 for film alone. Special reduced rates for children. For the buffet, call the theatre at 337-2610 for seating, at least a day in advance.

Senate Investigations Subcommittee releases Levin-Coburn report on the financial crisis

WASHINGTON -- Concluding a two-year bipartisan investigation, Senator Carl Levin, D-Mich., and Senator Tom Coburn M.D., R-Okla., Chairman and Ranking Republican on the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, today released a 635-page final report on their inquiry into key causes of the financial crisis. The report catalogs conflicts of interest, heedless risk-taking and failures of federal oversight that helped push the country into the deepest recession since the Great Depression. ...
Read more ...

Sen. Levin's statement on President Obama’s deficit reduction plan

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., made the following statement regarding President Obama’s deficit reduction plan:

"I commend the president for taking a balanced approach to the urgent problem of deficit reduction. His approach is in stark contrast to that of House Republicans, who have made extreme proposals that would devastate seniors and working families, endangering their welfare and their ability to send their kids to college, while handing another giant tax break to the wealthiest Americans and undermining our economic recovery. It was essential that the president put revenues on the table, because tax breaks for the wealthy and unnecessary tax loopholes helped put us in this ditch. I hope and believe that the president, working together with Congress, can reach solutions that bring meaningful deficit reduction and spread the burden of our common deficit problem equitably."

Click here to watch a video of President Obama's speech today, April 13, 2011, on his deficit reduction plan.

Michigan Messenger: Thousands rally at Capitol to protest Snyder's budget, labor bills; Bernero fires up pro-union crowd

LANSING -- Thousands of Michiganders (including Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero) gathered on the East lawn of the Michigan Capitol Wednesday to protest Republican legislative proposals that, in their view, undermine labor rights and budget proposals that balance the state’s budget on the backs of seniors and the poor.

"I am here because the Blue Green Alliance is an important player in mobilizing the environmental and labor communities to develop the clean energy agenda," said former Congressman Mark Schauer, who now runs the Blue Green Alliance. "Those jobs will help us compete in the global competition for jobs -- and it is global. We don’t win that competition by cutting education."

Click here to read the rest of this article, posted today, April 13, 2011, on the Michigan Messenger.

Click here to read about the Blue Green Alliance.

For more on Governor Snyder's budget, see also

CCGAP to hold annual party April 15 in Forestry Atrium

HANCOCK -- The Copper Country Guatemala Accompaniment Project (CCGAP) will be hosting its annual appreciation party from 7:30 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. on Friday, April 15, at the Michigan Tech Forestry Building Atrium (same place as last year).

Sue Ellen Kingsley, right, CCGAP director, bargains with some party-goers / shoppers at the 2010 CCGAP Annual Party at the Michigan Tech Forestry Building Atrium. (Photo courtesy Sue Ellen Kingsley)

The Uptown Swingsters -- a very danceable six-piece band -- will provide music for both dancing and listening.

For a $5 donation ticket, visitors will have a chance to win lovely Guatemalan artful and useful items -- including the grand prize, a beautiful woven Guatemalan wool blanket.

A silent auction will offer an array of Guatemalan goods and art for purchase.

Refreshments will be served, including yummy desserts. Donations welcome.

The Copper Country Guatemala Accompaniment Project (CCGAP) promotes human rights by responding to requests for international accompaniment from Guatemalan organizations and/or communities, and also by increasing awareness of Guatemala in the Copper Country of Michigan. Click here to read about the photojournalism project of a former CCGAP accompanier.

Former accompanier in Guatemala documents indigenous communities' human rights struggles

HANCOCK -- The Copper Country Guatemala Accompaniment Project (CCGAP) is now sponsoring Graham Hunt, former accompanier and photojournalist, who is now documenting the protests of indigenous organizations in Guatemala against the imposition of restrictions on their rights to decide what kind of development will happen on their own lands.

Indigenous Guatemalans protest an initiative, introduced by powerful interests, to devise a regulation for community consultas (referenda) -- on mega-projects such as mining and hydroelectric operations by large corporations -- without the consent or participation of the communities to be affected by the proposed legislation. (Photo © Graham Hunt and courtesy Copper Country Guatemala Accompaniment Project)*

Hunt reports on a community group that is working to provide indigenous communities with the tools they need to make informed collective decisions as they are faced with national and transnational corporations proposing large-scale mining and hydroelectric operations.

A letter from Hunt is now published in CCGAP's March/April 2011 Newsletter on their Web site. Here is an excerpt:

By Graham Hunt

Thank you to Copper Country GAP for supporting me in my work in Guatemala. I recently spent a year as an accompanier in the Ixil region and have since been afforded a unique opportunity to pursue documentary photography projects in Guatemala for six months with the sponsorship of CCGAP.

One of the most critical challenges to accompaniment work is the commitment to effectively raise national and international awareness of human rights issues in Guatemala. We are called upon to bear witness to the struggles of those whom we accompany, and we are entrusted with their stories with the promise that we will not remain silent.... Read an edited version of Hunt's letter on his photo essay work and see more photos in the CCGAP March/April 2011 Newsletter.

Click here to read Hunt's complete letter.

*See the March 1, 2011, article, "Communities reject initiative to regulate community referenda," on the NISGUA (Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala) blog, with more of Graham Hunt's photos.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Main Street Calumet to offer Historic Preservation Tax Credit Workshop Apr. 14

CALUMET -- A Historic Preservation Tax Credit Workshop will be offered from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 14, at the Keweenaw National Historical Park Headquarters in Calumet.

Cross Country Sports in Calumet is a great example of an award-winning storefront now fully reconstructed with assistance from Historic Preservation Tax Credits. Co-owner Lorri Oikarinen said Keweenaw National Historical Park Architect John Rosemurgy used historic photos to make conceptual drawings of what might be done with this building, located in Calumet's historic district. Architect Truman Obermeyer then provided the actual construction document, based on the drawings. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

Join Robbert McKay, Historical Architect with the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and administrator of the Federal Tax Credit program, for an introduction and overview to the Preservation Tax Incentives.*

"The Keweenaw’s historic downtowns and neighborhoods are links to the past. They give a sense of place, identity, and stability to our communities -- places in which people want to live, work, and explore," said Tom Tikkanen, executive director of Main Street Calumet.

Historic Preservation Tax Credits can take a bite out of the cost of maintaining or rehabilitating a historic building, Tikkanen explained. Combined federal and state tax credits are available for up to 25 percent of total qualified rehabilitation costs with the potential for an additional 15 percent credit through the special competitive enhanced program.

Eligibility for the Preservation Tax Credit program is reserved for structures that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, such as properties in designated historic districts found in Calumet, Laurium, Lake Linden, Mason, Eagle River, Hancock, Houghton, Painesdale, and others throughout the Keweenaw.**

This workshop is sponsored by the Calumet Main Street Design Committee. Call 337-MAIN (6246) for more information or go to

The Keweenaw National Historical Park Headquarters is located at 25970 Red Jacket Road, Calumet.

* For more information, refer to the Michigan State Housing Development Authority Web site: Click on the Historic Preservation Tab, and then go to the Historic Preservation Incentives programs.

** For more listings of historic districts and more details search

Letter: Kennecott's Eagle mine unsafe, unprofitable for Michigan

To the Editor:

Michigan’s legislature is letting Kennecott Minerals rip off the state and not pay its fair share in taxes on the copper, nickel and precious metals they plan to mine in the Upper Peninsula (Eagle Project). The deposit is worth at least $4.7 billion, and it looks like the company is going to get by with paying the state a paltry percentage of the value of the ore in taxes. If we had a good mining tax law on the books (30-40 percent of the proceeds from sales), it could turn Michigan’s budget problems around! Kennecott, after all, is leasing 120 acres of our State land for the next 40 years. The minerals belong to us, the citizens -- and the Michigan Legislature is giving them away.

Many think Michigan’s new mining laws are not tough enough. It’s obvious the state does not have the expertise or "manpower" to enforce even these regulations.

Steven Chester, former head of the DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality), stated, "We simply don’t have the kind of funding we need to adequately implement the laws we’re required to implement."

In court, it came to light that Joe Maki, DEQ’s mining team leader, has little training in this type of sulfide mining, only having attended a two-week seminar. No other employee involved in reviewing and approving Kennecott’s permit has experience with sulfide mining either.

When the DEQ hired outside experts to review Kennecott’s plans for the Eagle Project, they completely ignored their warnings. For example, David Sainsbury, a rock mechanics expert, concluded that Kennecott had done a shoddy job in evaluating the stability of the roof of the mine and it did "not reflect industry best practice."

According to a second mining engineer, if built according to plan, the mine’s roof could very well collapse and take a section of the Salmon Trout River with it, endangering life and limb as well as property and environment.

The Eagle Project needs to be stopped in its tracks until we know it will be safe for the workers, safe for the environment and profitable to the State of Michigan. Call the DEQ’s Dan Wyant, 1-800-662-9278. Tell him to pull the plug on the Eagle Project until the problems are fixed! Also, call Sen. Tom Casperson (517-373-7840) and State Reps. Steven Lindberg (517-373-0498), Matt Huuki (517-373-0850) and Ed McBroom (517-373-0156). Tell them to stop giving away the people’s resources to mining companies without fair payment!

Linda Rulison
Pelkie, MI

Monday, April 11, 2011

OPINION: Kennecott Haul Road, as perceived, is not needed

By Jack Parker*

BALTIC -- In February 2006, Kennecott submitted their application for a mining permit. We will not discuss it here because it should have been rejected as incomplete, but it was not rejected. They still do not have a suitable permitted haul road.

We will not discuss that either. They intend to get one, one way or another. Too many dollars are at stake to let the Eagle fall by the wayside. Let’s say $4.7 billion for a start.

But is a new haul road from the mine to the mill at Humboldt necessary?

THE FACTS, AS PRESENTED TO US. We don’t have to believe them but that’s all we have. There is good reason to believe, for example, that the tonnage, the values and the duration of the mining on and around the Yellow Dog Plains are not just the 4,050,000 tonnes of high-grade ore worth around $4,700,000,000 at Eagle West, to be mined out in six years. There’s more.

We are told that only the high-grade massive sulfides and semi-massive sulfides will be extracted, as follows:

1,477,000 tonnes of "Massive," more than 80 percent sulfides.

2,573,000 tonnes of "Semi-massive," 30 to 80 percent sulfides, average around 55 percent.

Weighted average would be 4,050,000 tonnes of 64 percent sulfides, i.e, 2/3 valuable minerals.

The predominant sulfide is pyrrhotite, a weakly-magnetic iron sulfide. Copper and most of the precious metals come with the chalcopyrite, a copper/iron sulfide. Nickel comes in pentlandite, a nickel/iron sulfide.

Roughly $1,700,000,000 worth of lower-grade ore will be abandoned. It runs less than 30 percent sulfides and average value is around $200/tonne.

The rate of mining will be around 2,000 tonnes per day, to be hauled to the mill at Humboldt for conventional crushing, grinding and flotation, with tailings being pumped into the existing lake.

According to the application for permits for milling, tests showed that recovery of copper would be 75 to 97 percent and recovery of nickel would be 60 to 90 percent. Those are wide ranges, since even 90 percent recovery is not high by industry standards. But nobody objected.

They seem to have missed the point that this is direct-shipping ore, ready to be refined, either by fire or by water. The copper, nickel and precious metals alone are worth more than $1,000/tonne, and the remainder -- mostly sulfur and iron -- are now recoverable and marketable too. So why crush and grind and float them before shipping?

There exists no good drilling and blasting plan; but the industry has the expertise to produce blocky ore, to minimize dust losses.

If there is some dilution by wall rocks it might be worthwhile to hand-pick the ore on a conveyor belt.

If there is a significant portion of fines they could be concentrated by taking advantage of the greater density of the sulfides -- using tables, spirals, cyclones or heavy-media treatment, and perhaps magnetism -- so avoiding the witches' brew of chemicals in the flotation process.

Two crowd-pleasing advantages would be that there would be fewer tailings by far to dispose of -- and that the somewhat undesirable refining processes would take place elsewhere.

Development rock, coming from access tunnels in wasterock, would go into empty stopes.

The ore would be trucked eastward to the railhead for shipment, to Sudbury perhaps, or stockpiled for boatloads to be shipped to the Far East. (Iron ore worth less than $200/tonne is currently shipped to the Far East for around $20/tonne.)

After the mining activity is completed any haul roads should be returned to logging-road status, not freeways.

* Keweenaw Now guest writer Jack Parker is a Mining Engineer. Emphasis in bold is Parker's.

Editor's Note: Opinions expressed by our guest writers are not necessarily the views of Keweenaw Now.

Sign of spring: Bees at work!

This video clip, taken last week, shows these honey bees are anxious to get to work. However, since natural pollen from blossoms is not yet available in this part of the U.P., the bees are collecting soy flour, a pollen substitute, during the early days of spring. (Video clip by Gustavo Bourdieu of Keweenaw Now)

By Gustavo Bourdieu, beekeeper and Keweenaw Now photographer
Translated from the Spanish by Michele Bourdieu

HANCOCK -- Bees take up their normal life again at the end of winter and begin to populate their hive anew. Because of the number of winter days without any activity outside the hive, when the temperature rises a little they begin to reproduce. In order to do this, they access their reserves of honey and also the pollen they have stored. However, at this time of year, the remaining stored pollen is insufficient for their needs.

Since flowers are lacking as well, they are given, as soon as possible, a pollen substitute as a source of energy for feeding their larvae. In this part of the Upper Peninsula, where spring and summer seasons are very short, it is necessary to have a maximum number of worker bees (those that gather pollen) at the very moment that blossoms appear.

It is for this reason that I help them with soy flour as a substitute for pollen. We hope to have a good honey harvest this year.

I recommend that consumers eat local honey and pollen for protection against allergies.

Happy new spring season to everyone!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Magnetic Poetic: Michigan Tech to celebrate National Poetry Month this week

HOUGHTON -- April is National Poetry Month and PANK magazine and the Literary Arts Collective at Michigan Tech announce "Magnetic Poetic: Celebrating National Poetry Month." This week-long program of readings and events runs Monday through Friday, April 11 to 15, on and near the campus. All events are open to the public. Attendance, unless otherwise noted, is free.

On Monday, April 11, the Magnetic Poetic begins with the opening of a week-long interactive poetry installation by the same name (and real magnets) at 9 p.m. in the J. R. Van Pelt and Opie Library..

On Tuesday, April 12, there will be two poetry films, Sylvia and Howl, beginning at 6 p.m. in Fisher 139.

On Wednesday, April 13, the Community Poetry Reading Series will host a reading and open mic at 6 p.m. in the Library.

On Thursday, April 14, the community is encouraged participate in National Poem in Your Pocket Day, by selecting a poem you love and carrying it with you to share with students, classmates, coworkers, family and friends. Pocket poems are available for free from the Library circulation desk, the Memorial Union information desk and the Walker HDMZ information desk.

At 6 p.m. on Thursday evening, visiting poets Samiya Bashir and Keith Taylor will give a reading in the Library with a reception and book signing to follow.

On Friday evening, April 15, visiting poet Jamaal Vs. May will give a reading at 6 p.m. at the Library with a reception and book signing to follow.

The program will conclude Friday night with the concert, "Barbaric Yawp!" -- featuring music and poetry by This is Deer Country, Jon Soper and Eve's Attic at 8 p.m., at Studio Pizza/Orpheum Theater in Hancock ($5 cover charge).

Magnetic Poetic is sponsored by PANK, the Dean of Students, the Department of Humanities, the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, Keweenaw Pride, the King-Chavez-Parks Visiting Women and Minority Lecture Series, the Library, the Department of Visual and Performing Arts and WMTU 91.9 FM Houghton.

National Poetry Month is a month-long national celebration of poetry established by the Academy of American Poets in 1996. The goal is to widen the attention of individuals and the media to the art of poetry, to living poets, to a complex poetic heritage, and to poetry books and journals of wide aesthetic range and concern.

For more information, contact Matt Seigel 487-2016 at

Arts Center to offer Lace Shawl Knitting Class

HANCOCK -- Summer is the perfect time to knit up a lace shawl. They’re lightweight and portable, and many shawl patterns can be written on a small piece of paper or easily memorized! Lace Shawl Knitting Class with instructor Kari Jaun will focus on shawl construction, covering design methods that will lead to making the perfect shawlette or an extravagant wrap.

Students will learn about reading charts, lace knitting, various shaping techniques, embellishments, and blocking. The class will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on four Tuesdays -- April 19 and 26 and May 3 and 10 -- at the Copper Country Community Arts Center. The deadline to register is Tuesday, April 12.

Class fee: $80 plus materials list.

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