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, October 08, 2011

Brownstone Hall to host Bernie Larsen, Cry on Cue, Scotty Alan TONIGHT, Oct. 8

HOUGHTON -- Brownstone Hall in Atlantic Mine will present singer/songwriter/producer Bernie Larsen/Cry on Cue/Scotty Alan to the stage at 9 p.m. TONIGHT, Saturday, Oct. 8! All ages welcome.

Cover: $7. Bring your own refreshments and snacks if you'd like -- a small selection of water/pop will be available for purchase. Thanks for supporting live music! Follow the signs past the Copper Country Mall. Check out Brownstone Hall on Facebook: brownstone hall or

Friday, October 07, 2011

From Truthout: Nobel Peace Prize goes to 3 women activists

TRIPOLI, Libya -- The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded Friday to three women activists, two from Liberia and one from Yemen, in recognition of their nonviolent campaigns toward peace and women’s rights in conflict zones....
Click here to read the article on Truthout.

Backroom Boys to play jazz, swing, blues at Omphale Gallery and Café Oct. 7

By Oren Tikkanen*

CALUMET -- This Friday (Oct. 7) is First Friday in Calumet, and the galleries will be open! The town will be quivering with artistic energy, and the epicenter might well be the beautifully re-appointed Omphale Gallery and Café on north 5th Street.

The Backroom Boys pictured here are Oren Tikkanen, seated, on banjo; John Munson, left, with clarinet; and Bob Norden, trombone. Joining them Friday at the Omphale will be Matthew Durocher (not pictured) on upright bass. (Photo courtesy Oren Tikkanen)

The Backroom Boys -- Bob Norden, trombone; John Munson, clarinet/sax; Oren Tikkanen, banjo/guitar; and Matthew Durocher, upright bass -- will be playing jazz, swing, and blues with a touch of New Orleans laid-back fervor.

Julie DePaul Johnson, co-owner of the Omphale Gallery and Café, makes gourmet coffee and treats in the newly remodeled establishment on 5th Street in Calumet. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

Madame Julie and Mademoiselle Katie Jo will be serving up gourmet treats, and have commented that it would be a shame if their wonderfully refinished floor does not meet with dancing feet -- from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. this Friday, Oct 7, 2011 -- see you there!

* Guest writer Oren Tikkanen is a local musician and storyteller.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Ed Gray Gallery to host "Dancing With Clay" exhibit

CALUMET -- The "Dancing With Clay" show opens at the Ed Gray Gallery with a reception from 6:30 p.m. - 9 p.m. on First Friday, Oct. 7, 2011. This show features invited clay artists from the Great Lakes region. Regular gallery artists along with two artists new to the gallery will be exhibiting their work in this show, which includes mugs and sculptural pieces.

The Ed Gray Gallery is located at 109 Fifth Street in Calumet.

Deadline to apply for Poor Artists sale is Oct. 8, 2011

HANCOCK -- The deadline for artists to apply for the 35th annual Poor Artists Sale is this Saturday, Oct. 8. The Poor Artists Sale is a juried art fair and will be held at the CLK Gymnasium in Calumet on Saturday, Dec. 3. Artists who would like to have a booth space in the largest holiday shopping event of the year should pick up an application at the Copper Country Community Arts Center (CCCAC) in Hancock or visit and go to the "artist opportunities" section on the newsletter page. Applications must be received by Saturday, Oct. 8.

The Poor Artists Sale is organized by the Copper Country Community Arts Center, located at 126 Quincy Street, Hancock. The Community Arts Center strives to "Foster an Environment where the Arts and People Grow Together." Contact Cynthia Coté at (906) 482-2333 for more information or stop by the CCCAC to pick up a booth application.

Artist to demonstrate flint knapping at CCAA Gallery in Calumet Oct. 7

CALUMET -- For First Friday, Oct. 7, the Copper Country Associated Artists (CCAA) will host a very special session by guest artist Steve Hecht, who will demonstrate the traditional art of flint knapping. This is a technique for fashioning tools such as arrow points, scrapers and knives from stone -- typically obsidian; but Hecht uses many varieties of rocks and different methods to create his pieces.

Artist Steve Hecht works on his flint knapping in the Calumet Art Center. He will demonstrate this traditional art for the public on Friday, Oct. 7, at the Copper Country Associated Artists Gallery in Calumet. (Keweenaw Now file photos)

Hecht has been flint-knapping for about fifteen years. His interest in rocks and minerals led him to many shows where this was taught.

The demonstration will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 7 at the CCAA Gallery in Calumet. Attendees will be able to learn methods by limited participation and observation; but, since it generally takes many hours for a pro like Hecht to create a single piece, this will not be a take-home project. Attendees may enter a drawing to to win the completed piece.

Flint knapping is hard on the fingers without protection.

The CCAA gallery is located at 112 Fifth Street in Calumet. From October through the Christmas season the gallery will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday in addition to First Fridays.

Please check out CCAA's new Facebook page for a picture and more info.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Main Street Calumet Farmers and Artisans Market now indoors

CALUMET -- Main Street Calumet’s Farmers and Artisans Market has relocated from its former site in Agassiz Park in Calumet to a new indoor location at the Merchants and Miners Building at 200 Fifth Street (corner of Fifth and Portland Streets) in downtown Calumet.

The market will still be held on Fridays; however, the new location has prompted expanded hours -- from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. It will still feature fresh produce, locally produced food items, the work of local artists and craftspeople and the products of local merchants. The market will regularly spotlight local performing artists, presentations by organizations and individuals -- and much more.

For additional information about Main Street Calumet’s Farmers and Artisans Market please visit Main Street Calumet’s website at, contact them by email at or phone 906-337-6246.

Documentary film on Native action to be shown Oct. 6 at Ojibwa Casino

BARAGA -- The documentary film, Homeland: Four Portraits of Native Action, will be shown at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 6, in the Chippewa Room of the Ojibwa Casino in Baraga.

Nearly all Indian lands in the U.S. face grave environmental threats -- toxic waste, strip mining, oil drilling and nuclear contamination. Filmed against some of America’s most spectacular backdrops, from Alaska to Maine and Montana to New Mexico, Homeland: Four Portraits of Native Action profiles the against-all-odds struggles of Native American leaders who are taking on powerful energy companies and government agencies to protect the environment for all Americans.

This film is part of the "Mining Impacts on Native Lands" Film Series. The goal of this monthly film series is to increase community awareness and capacity in the midst of growing mineral interest throughout the region. Featured films will focus on the environmental and social impacts of mining, particularly on Native communities. All films are free and open to the public. Mining updates will be provided and discussion welcomed.

Click here for a preview of the film.

Gallerie Boheme to exhibit "Small Art" by local artists, opening Oct. 7

CALUMET -- Gallerie Boheme, in Calumet, will open an exhibit titled "Small Art" on Friday, Oct. 7. It will feature small artworks by local artists Stuart Baird, Kerrie Corser, Cynthia Coté, Margo McCafferty, Tom Rudd and North Carolina artist Ursula Vernon.

Tom Rudd and Margo McCafferty, The Early Morning Show, color reduction relief print. (Photo courtesy Tom Rudd and Margo McCafferty)

The public is invited to the opening of this new show from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 7.

Gallerie Boheme exhibits exceptional works by Calumet and Keweenaw-area artists and craftspersons. The gallery is located in Calumet on the north end of Fifth Street at 423, near Artis Books and the Omphale Gallery and Café. Business hours are 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, July through October, other times by appointment. For additional information contact Tom Rudd at (906) 369-4087 or Tom Dumble at (760) 285-5128.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Utah journalist sends updates on Rio Tinto - Kennecott

SALT LAKE CITY -- Sallie Dean Shatz, Utah photographer and writer and Keweenaw Now guest photographer, sends news of Rio-Tinto - Kennecott's mining operations in Salt Lake City.

In her investigative article, "Tall Tailings," with her photos, published in the August 2011 issue of Catalyst, an online magazine (pp. 12-14), Shatz writes about Rio Tinto - Kennecott's plans to mine their two billion ton pile of tailings from the Bingham Canyon Mine. Her statements about the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers are of interest to anyone looking for regulation by our federal agencies to protect air and water quality.

On the EPA, Shatz notes, "Large staff turnovers have erased institutional memory related to this issue. Impending budget cuts and the current Congress's attempts to strip the organization of its enforcement powers have made their job more difficult."

On the Army Corps of Engineers (whose job is to consider the Environmental Impact Statement when waters of the United States are involved in order to protect them) Shatz says, "The Corps appears to have a tendency to consider and then say yes: Nationally, it rejects only about one percent of the applications it receives and approves the rest with some mitigation."*

Shatz recently updated us with a Sept. 13 article on a land swap between Kennecott and the Mormon Church, which, she says, eliminates some issues mentioned in her August article.**

* Click here to read the Catalyst magazine article and go to p. 12 of the magazine. See also Shatz's photo of Tim DeChristopher in an article about his sentencing on p. 8.

** Click here to read about the land swap.

Editor's Note: See our April 28, 2011, article with Sallie Dean Shatz's photo of Meg Townsend speaking with Rio Tinto CEO Tom Albanese and Chairman Jan du Plessis after the April 14, 2011, Rio Tinto AGM, during which she spoke and presented du Plessis a petition from 200 doctors protesting the form of mining being used in Rio Tinto - Kennecott's Eagle Mine near Big Bay, Michigan.

Community Arts Center to feature paintings by Susan Hooker, opening Oct. 6

HANCOCK -- The new exhibit in the Community Arts Center's Kerredge Gallery is "Kimonos and Bubbles" -- mixed media paintings by Hancock artist Susan Hooker.

The public is invited to an opening reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 6.

Many international experiences have influenced the work of Susan Hooker. Traditional painting techniques from Germany to Japan and Korea have contributed to the development of her unique style.

The Copper Country Community Arts Center is located at 126 Quincy Street in Hancock. For more information call 482-2333 or visit the website:

Letter to Mining Journal: "Money challenges"

MARQUETTE -- In a letter to the Marquette Mining Journal, posted Oct. 3, 2011, Gabriel Caplett of Skandia writes about public funds being wasted on large, wealthy corporations and mining companies while local community needs go unfunded.

"Wow, Cliffs' Renewafuel biomass plant is closing already," he writes. "It's amazing the amount of time and forfeited money that has been spent giving Cliffs outrageously generous local and state tax breaks for Renewafuel, and the amount of money Tilden Township recently forfeited to give Cliffs a huge tax break for its mining operations. This to a company that has been posting record profits and has so much cash it has been buying up other companies."

Caplett also points out what the projected County Road 595 for Kennecott could cost the taxpayers -- "tens of thousands of dollars on county staff time and other costs to get it permitted for Kennecott."

If built, the road could cost $100,000 a year to maintain, Caplett adds, while the present budget is vastly insufficient to maintain existing roads....

Click here to read the letter.