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, March 02, 2012

Oasis Gallery in Marquette to hold artist reception March 2

MARQUETTE -- The Oasis Gallery in Marquette will host a reception for the artists who had work available for purchase during the OASIS Holiday Art Sale starting at 6 p.m. TONIGHT, Friday, March 2.

The Oasis Gallery is located at 130 W. Washington Street, Marquette, Mich. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Click here for our Dec. 14, 2011, article on the Oasis Holiday Art Sale.

Kids, can you solve this riddle?

Can you solve this riddle?

Elizabeth, Elspeth, Betsy, and Bess,
They all went together to seek a bird's nest;
They found a bird's nest with five eggs in,
They all took one, and left four in.

Come to the Main Street Calumet Market between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. TODAY, Friday, March 2, 2012. The first five children 12 or under, accompanied by a parent or guardian, who have the right answer will win a prize from the market manager.

The market is held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. the first Friday of each month at 200 Fifth Street (corner of Fifth and Portland Streets) in downtown Calumet.

For additional information please contact Main Street Calumet at 906-337-6246 or

Editor's Note: Click here for updates on the CopperDog 150 race, art exhibits and other activities happening in Calumet tonight, Friday, March 2.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Orpheum Theater to present Starlight Six March 2

HANCOCK -- Great News for Daisy May Erlewine, Seth Bernard and Steppin' In It Fans -- the Starlight Six is playing at the Orpheum Theater this Friday, March 2!

STARLIGHT SIX is a Michigan folk/rock/country supergroup made up of Seth and May; Rachel, Dominic and Joshua Davis of Steppin In It; and Mike Shimmin from the Red Sea Pedestrians (who played an amazing show at the Orpheum as an opener for Seth and May).

The show is this Friday, March 2, and doors open at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $15, and advance tickets are available now at Studio Pizza (same building as the Orpheum) in downtown Hancock.

Call with any questions! 482-5100.

Fourth annual Glide 'N Gorge to be Mar. 4 at Maasto Hiihto

Skiers stop for a hearty soup along the gorge trail at Maasto Hiihto during the Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club's 2011 Glide 'N Gorge. This year the event will be held Sunday, Mar. 4. (Keweenaw Now file photo © and courtesy Keren Tischler)

HANCOCK -- The Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club (KNSC) will host the 4th Annual Glide 'N Gorge from noon to 3 p.m. this coming Sunday, March 4, at the Maasto Hiihto ski trails in Hancock. The starting point is at the ski chalet at the Houghton County Fair Grounds in Hancock.

Tickets are available at Down Wind Sports in Houghton and Cross Country Sports in Calumet until Friday, Mar. 2, for $15.

After that, they will be $25 at the chalet the day of the event. No refunds. All proceeds go for trail improvements. Kids 12 and under ski free with an adult, and families are encouraged to come out and have a fun ski/eat/snowshoe together!

The well-marked course will first guide you to tasty hors d'oeuvres. Kids of all ages can roast marshmallows by the fire. After this "warm-up," you'll descend along the Swedetown Creek on one of the prettiest trails in the Keweenaw! Next up is the main dish -- piping hot chili and soups galore at a scenic spot along the creek. You'll then continue down the creek and finally cruise up Sisu hill.

A sign marks the trail up Sisu hill for the return to the chalet -- and dessert! (Keweenaw Now file photo © and courtesy Keren Tischler)

Once back to the chalet, you can celebrate the circumnavigation of the gorge! To get you in the celebrating mood, you'll be rewarded for your effort with treats for your tongue and your ears: delectable desserts and live music!

KNSC could use some more bread and rolls for Sunday if anyone out there would like to contribute. Just e-mail Candi Silvola, KNSC Board Member and Event Organizer, at or phone 482-4578 if you can help.

Khana Khazana to feature cuisine from Thailand, India and Malaysia Mar. 2

HOUGHTON -- Khana Khazana this week offers cuisine from Thailand, India and Malaysia. Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Friday, March 2, at the Michigan Tech Memorial Union Food Court.

Here are the offerings:

Kai sa-te: This Thai dish is tender roasted chicken with spicy and sweet peanut sauce, including the sweet and sour dipping. Usually, served with toasted bread.

Chili Paneer: An Indian adaptation of a Chinese recipe has become an integral part of the Indian culinary scene. It is also enjoyed by Indian and Chinese communities in Malaysia, Singapore, England and North America.

Karipap/Curry Puff: A small pie consisting of curry and potatoes. It is common at Indian and Malay food stalls in Malaysia!

A full meal, which comes with a free beverage, costs $6; individual items are $2.

Khana Khazana, a weekly series of international lunches, is a collaborative effort of international students and Michigan Tech Dining Services.

Michigan Tech's Lakeshore Center now LEED ("Green") certified

HOUGHTON -- In 2009, MTEC SmartZone received grant money from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) for the renovation and redesign of Michigan Tech's Lakeshore Center. MTEC SmartZone, the first floor tenant of the building, worked closely with U.P. Engineers and Architects to ensure the 2010 building renovation was as "green" as possible, based on a contingency for the grant monies.

MTEC SmartZone CEO Marilyn Clark proudly announces that these efforts earned the Lakeshore Center LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. LEED is a specific rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council to provide building owners with a framework for identifying and implementing measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.

"Lakeshore Center is a beautiful facility to work and spend time in. We have great views, natural light, and clean air to breathe. This designation makes us even more proud of our fourth business incubation facility," says Marilyn Clark.

Project architect, Karin Cooper of U.P. Engineers and Architects, is a LEED Accredited Professional and led the renovation project toward LEED certification. Through the process she worked with a project team of contractors and Michigan Technological University to assure the building's sustainable design.

Lakeshore Center was scored on six different categories: sustainable site, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation and design process. Efforts to use more than 18 percent recycled materials for the project helped secure the LEED certification. In addition, MTEC SmartZone built a shower facility for tenants and a bike rack to encourage alternative transportation.

This certification is unique and only a handful of buildings in the Western Upper Peninsula are LEED Certified. For more information on LEED Certification, please call Karin Cooper, AIA, LEED AP at (906) 482-9799.

Sen. Levin: Statement on protecting women's health

Sen. Carl Levin's Senate Floor Statement
Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012

WASHINGTON -- Mr. President, the amendment we are considering today represents a direct assault on access to preventative health care services for millions of women in this country. The ostensible purpose of this proposal is to protect the rights of conscience of any employer or healthcare insurer, religious or secular, who may have a religious or moral objection to providing family planning services free of charge to their employees. I respect and will defend the moral values of employers and insurance companies. But I also respect the moral values of people who need medical services. So we will end up deciding whether or not to deny access to critical and possibly lifesaving health services for millions of people in this country, not whose religious or moral values have precedence.

As drafted, Senator Blunt’s amendment would grant employers and health insurance companies the power to deny access to not just preventative healthcare services for women, but any healthcare service, for anyone, regardless of its nature. This means any employer could chose to deny employees insurance coverage for such things as children’s immunizations; mammograms; lifesaving cancer treatments; or blood transfusions simply because that employer may find these or any other healthcare services morally objectionable.

For the Senate to pass such a policy would be indefensible. It would go far beyond nullifying the administration’s rule to implement provisions in the Affordable Care Act requiring access to some preventative services at no cost. Instead, this amendment would codify infringement on personal healthcare decisions, would grant an employer the right to substitute his moral convictions for those of his employees, and would effectively deny access to critical healthcare services.

Considering that some of my colleagues vociferously defend the idea of personal liberties, I am truly surprised they would support a policy to undermine those same liberties by handing power over an individual’s personal healthcare decisions to that individual’s employer or his insurance company.

This body took a bold and historic step by enacting healthcare reform in 2010. We accomplished something that had eluded the country and the Congress for decades. The law recognizes that women have specific medical needs and that gaps have historically existed in preventive care for women. And it correctly called for specific steps to address that. We should not now support policies that would not only walk these advances back, but take giant leaps backwards in access to healthcare services for everyone. I urge our colleagues to vote against this amendment.

Portage Library's "Dr. Seuss Extravaganza" canceled, to be rescheduled

HOUGHTON -- The "Dr. Seuss Extravaganza" is canceled for tonight at the Portage Lake District Library and will be re-scheduled. Library policy states that if schools in the district are closed due to the weather, the library is also closed.

Click here for school closings and delays in the local area.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wis. State Sen. Bob Jauch: Statement Regarding Mining Discussions

Press release from Wis. State Sen. Bob Jauch
Feb. 29, 2012

I applaud Senator Schultz for his public commitment to a mining proposal that’s fair to the applicant but truly represents the public will. His statement today demonstrates his dedication to represent the voice of citizens who have expressed deep concerns about the Assembly Bill. I agree with him that the so-called compromise plan offered by Senator Darling and Rep. Vos fails to address the concerns expressed by the public.

In August, Governor Walker expressed a desire to work with me to create a balanced proposal that would work for local governments, tribal governments, and preserve our natural resources in a sustainable fashion.

The proposal offered by Senator Shultz and I achieve the balance the Governor sought. If he doesn’t want to take my word, then he and Assembly leaders should join me in Mellen to listen to residents who support our approach.

Last weekend Senators Schultz, Cullen, and Holperin joined me and Representative Janet Bewley in a town meeting on mining sponsored by Mellen and Morse local officials. During the hour and half meeting attended by well over 100 citizens not one person testified in favor of the Assembly legislation. In fact, they all spoke passionately in opposition to the bill. The same was the case at an Ashland/Bayfield League of Women Voters League forum held the next day.

Their message was simple and clear. They want the mine, but they fear the mine. They want the jobs but they fear legislation that will weaken environmental standards and limit the DNR’s ability to protect their environment. They welcome economic initiatives to help the region grow, but are weary of politicians and special interest groups from elsewhere who pretend to be their voice but have never bothered to listen to them.*

Senator Schultz and I offered a proposal that balances job creation and environmental protection. It is a plan that streamlines the process and provides predictability and certainty for any mining applicant. It was a good faith proposal that addressed areas of concern expressed by Speaker Fitzgerald.

Contrary to what critics say, our plan closely resembles Minnesota, a state that mines more iron than any other state. Our plan does not raise taxes on the mining company. A recent fiscal bureau memo affirms the fact that the company would have no net tax liability as a result of our plan.

Since announcing the plan we have repeatedly expressed a willingness to modify our proposal. We have publicly identified several areas in which compromise can easily be achieved.

However, we have also emphasized that any agreement must reflect the public desire to protect contested case hearings and avoid weakening of environmental standards. Minnesota does not weaken their standards for mining and the Governor and Assembly Republicans have not made a case by case justification why Wisconsin should minimize our existing standards.

I am grateful for Senator Schultz’s leadership in attempting to forge a compromise. He wants to find a workable solution that is fair to any mining company, but above all he believes that the solution should reflect the will of the thousands of citizens who have expressed deep concerns about the Assembly bill.

He has listened to the citizens most affected by the mine and his actions speak to true representation of their voice. However, his statement today also accurately portrays a legislative climate that makes compromise almost impossible to accomplish.

We offered our plan in an attempt to generate thoughtful discussion on this controversial and complicated topic. Sadly, the debate over mining legislation has now dissolved into partisan accusations and mindless, misleading propaganda being spread by special interest groups. Citizens in our districts as well as several other Senate districts have been targets of misleading robo-calls and television advertisements paid by anonymous donors who don’t live in our districts.

Hubert Humphrey said it best: "Leadership requires far more than a large stock of gunboats and a hard fist at the conference table. These tactics are not practiced to solve problems. They are designed to intimidate. The public deserves better."

Senator Schultz and I are confident that our plan would help reshape the debate and we’re pleased that many editorials and organizations praised the effort. Unfortunately, the political response was nothing different from the politics of division that sadly defines the Wisconsin political landscape.

If one favors responsible mining, one should insist on a responsible mining law that regulates mining. We believe that a transparent process and open dialogue on the issues can lead to that responsible mining law. It appears that there is a lack of will to have that open dialogue on the specifics.

The public is starving for reasonable, bipartisan leadership to tackle the complicated issues of the day. That’s why Senator Schultz and I worked together to bring forth our compromise plan. That’s why we’ve asked our colleagues from both parties and both houses to work together on this bill. The responses and rhetoric have fallen far short of the public’s expectations.

* Editor's Note: For a citizen's report on the recent town meeting in Mellen, Wis., see Wendy Thiede's article, "Mellen, Wis., residents speak out on proposed Taconite mine, AB 426," posted on Keweenaw Now Feb. 26, 2012.

Updated: Calumet to host CopperDog 150, art, music, fireworks, bike races Mar. 2-3

CALUMET -- The third annual CopperDog 150 will again begin on First Friday, March 2, in Calumet, in conjunction with art gallery openings, street music, food and beverages, and winter fireworks.

At the start of the 2011 CopperDog 150 race, crowds along Fifth Street in Calumet cheer for mushers and their dogs. (File photo by Keweenaw Now)

"The volunteer army is ready, the mushers and dogs are fired up, the food is hot, music fills the streets, and downtown Calumet is ready to host the best winter festival yet," says Todd Brassard, race director. "At 5 p.m. the live music starts up on Oak Street with the The Wingnuts, and Tommy Katalin is rumored to play a few numbers on Portland Street. Food and beverages will also be readily available on the streets and at the storefronts. Everyone has worked hard this year to bring more food and drink to the festival. You can support their efforts by having a little dinner in town."

Emily Dekker-Fiala says, "We'll have our homemade burritos (and hot drinks) for sale in front of 5th and Elm in Calumet for the start of the CopperDog Friday night."

The first sled team leaves the starting chute at 7 p.m., so come early, have dinner, get some hot chocolate or beer, and check out the new artist shows at local galleries.

Oren Tikkanen reports the Backroom Boys will be playing traditional jazz, swing, and blues from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday at the Vertin Gallery.

At the Omphale Café and Gallery, Heaven Hawkins will exhibit her art and play her music Friday evening.

Following the exciting start of the race, Main Street Calumet will offer a treat for the kids -- a fireworks show over Calumet's Agassiz Park, Brassard adds.*

Copper Country Associated Artists to host face painting

Girl Scouts practice face painting with artist Ellen Torola. (Photo courtesy Copper Country Associated Artists)

The Copper Country Associated Artists (CCAA) Gallery is sharing in the spirit of volunteerism and love of animals that the CopperDog 150 race is known for by holding a fund raiser for the Copper Country Humane Society. CCAA will host a face painting event at the Gallery on First Friday, hoping to gather donations which will help the local shelter.

Ellen Torola, a well known local artist, worked ahead of time with two local Girl Scout troops, helping them prepare for this event by creating designs that reflect this awesome occasion. On the evening of the CopperDog 150, CCAA artist members will be on hand to assist these young artists in painting designs on the faces of those who would like this when they visit the gallery. Refreshments will be provided.

Saturday, March 3, will be a day of festivities and more races in Calumet. The CCAA Gallery will be open so stop by and visit at their new location: 205 Fifth Street!

Ed Gray Gallery to hold reception for "Icon, Shrine, and Reliquary" exhibit

The "Icon, Shrine, and Reliquary" show will open with a public reception at 6:30 p.m. March 2 at the Ed Gray Gallery in Calumet. This is a call for entry show which features local artists and their interpretations of icon, shrine and reliquary. The icon is a symbol which represents more than its literal interpretation. A shrine often houses icons or relics and is a sacred place. A reliquary contains a sacred object. Each artist has used his/her media of choice to translate these terms.

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

Update: Vertin Gallery to exhibit paintings by Kathy Carlton-Johnson

This month local artist Kathy Carlton-Johnson will be featured in an exhibit at Vertin Gallery. Kathy's show "On Death and Dying" is a collection of paintings and assemblage that examine death in a matter-of-fact way -- a commonality among living things. Kathy's signature style and color palette are employed in a new way while her work remains recognizably hers.

"Last Known Address," by Kathy Carlton-Johnson.

The show is on display starting Friday, March 2, and Kathy will give a talk on her new body of work at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 24.

This First Friday Vertin guests are welcome to park behind the Vertin Building (off 6th Street).

Artist Phyllis Fredendall's show "Mining Memories" remains on display through next Thursday, March 8. If you haven't had a chance to see this wonderful work, you've got time!

Red Jacket Cyclotron Saturday, March 3

In conjunction with the CopperDog 150 this weekend, the Red Jacket Cyclotron is scheduled for Saturday, March 3, in downtown Calumet. Snow-bike racers will be battling it out on the Calumet Snowdrome on 5th Street between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. A total of nine races are scheduled, including criteriums, four-cross sprints and miss-and-out. Pasties and t-shirts will be available for fat-bike racers!

Got a fat bike? Come race! (two classes for men, one for women). No fat bike? Come check it out! And/or bring a mountain bike for the Atomsmasher Mountain Bike Crit -- to be contested on the same course as the other races, but open only to regular mountain bikes.

A number of Calumet merchants are offering special deals throughout the day, and the Michigan House / Red Jacket Brewery has brewed up a special ale in honor of the race (Moonlander). Local and regional shops will be on hand with gear and demo bikes.

For those racing the Midwest Snow Bike Championships / GBC Snow Bike Race the day after the Great Bear Chase Ski Race (bike race: March 11), a pre-ride of the Swedetown race course will follow the Cyclotron.

For full details, see For additional information or if you have questions, please email Chris at

Copper Dog continues through Sunday, March 4

After leaving Calumet Friday, the dog teams spend the night in Eagle Harbor, heading out to Copper Harbor at 9 a.m. Saturday morning. Come cheer them on as they take off for Copper Harbor! They’ll arrive in Copper Harbor around 1 p.m. Saturday; and the festivities will continue there, with free sled rides for the kids from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., and a chance to meet the mushers and dogs.

Sunday morning they’re off again, heading straight to Calumet. The CopperDog 150 Sled Dog Race should finish in Calumet around 2 p.m. Sunday.

* Visit the CopperDog Web site if you wish to donate for the fireworks or learn more about the race. See Main Street Calumet for the complete schedule of CopperDog 150 activities, including street closures.

Sen. Levin urges Senate to close loophole that gives Facebook a $3 billion tax break

WASHINGTON -- On the Senate floor this morning, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., urged his colleagues to close a tax loophole that gives Facebook a $3 billion tax break. Levin has introduced a bill along with Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., that would close the loophole. Here is an excerpt from Sen. Levin's speech, which is posted in its entirety on his Web site:

There has been a great deal of conversation recently about the need to close tax loopholes. This is a welcome development for those of us who have gone after these loopholes for years.

It is particularly timely as the public is focusing more and more on how tax loopholes distort economic incentives and often benefit the wealthiest among us at the expense of most U.S. taxpayers.

Last week, President Obama released a framework for business tax reform that took aim at many corporate tax loopholes. I look forward to working with the administration and with my colleagues in the Senate to make real reform a reality -- reform that brings greater fairness to the tax code, eliminates incentives for moving jobs and assets overseas, restores revenue lost to unjustified tax loopholes, and helps us reduce the deficit without damaging vital programs for education, transportation, health care and national security.

One recent and very public announcement illustrates dramatically our tax code’s distortions and the need for reform. At the center of this story is Facebook and its founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg....

Click here to read the rest of Sen. Levin's speech.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Peaceful Uprising launches Communities of Resilient Resistance

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah -- Peaceful Uprising -- a nonprofit collective committed to action to combat the climate crisis and build a just, healthy world -- has just launched PeaceUp Communities of Resilient Resistance (PeaceUp CoRR).

"For some time now, folks have been asking us whether we have organizers in their city/state/region or how they should go about starting their own local PeaceUp chapter," says Henia Belalia, Peaceful Uprising community organizer and trainer. "Truth is, we don't have the capacity to withstand either of those, so we've found a way to inspire activists to build their own resilient and resistant community, by sharing our own story -- what worked and what didn't, what we aspire to in the future. It also includes resources to trainings/workshops from friends and allies across the nation. With time, we hope that folks will contribute by sharing their own stories to strengthen our movement's local and national Beloved Communities."

Today (Feb. 28, 2012) marks one year from the start of climate activist Tim DeChristopher's trial. As he serves his time (for civil disobedience) at Herlong, the Peaceful Uprising movement will continue to build, expand and resist. One year from today (on 2/28/2013), Peaceful Uprising will call on all Communities of Resilient Resistance to launch nationwide Community Audits.

Please help spread the love by telling folks about PeaceUp CoRR!!!

Via Facebook:
PeaceUp launches CoRR -- Communities of Resilient Resistance, one year to the day from the start of climate activist Tim DeChristopher's trial. It's time to rush the field!

Via Twitter:
@Peace_Up_ launches CoRR: Communities of Resilient Resistance, 1 yr from @DeChristopher's trial Time to rush the field!

To learn more about Peaceful Uprising, visit

Click here to learn more about the Communities of Resilient Resistance (CoRR) and how you can collaborate in the commitment to climate justice by empowering your own community.

Updated: Volunteers needed for Great Bear Chase cross country ski race

Great Bear Chase mascot and friends cheer for skiers as they climb Flamingo Hill during the 2011 Great Bear Chase at Swedetown Trails in Calumet. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

CALUMET -- Volunteers are needed for the Great Bear Chase cross country ski race to be held Saturday, March 10, at Swedetown Trails.

"We've got the snow, two additional races, a new and improved start/finish area, and racers coming from all over the upper Midwest," says Emily Dekker-Fiala, Great Bear Chase volunteer coordinator. "Now we just need more volunteers to make the 32nd Great Bear Chase another fantastic Copper Country event."

Volunteers are asked to give 2-3 hours of time. A variety of shifts are available between 6:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. both indoors and outdoors.

A few more people are also needed for setting up fencing from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. this Saturday, March 3rd, at the new start/finish area for the Great Bear Chase off Spruce St. -- the next road north of the access road to the Chalet. (Stop by after the Copper Dog snowbike races).

Please consider volunteering for this great event -- the last big race of the season. Invite your friends and family to work with you (responsible teens are welcome.) It's easy to sign up. Just click here. If you can help with setup on March 3rd, please note this on the sign-up form.

Visit for information about the race.

Calumet Art Center offers new classes

CALUMET -- The Calumet Art Center is overflowing with exciting new classes this season. Break out of the doldrums of winter and spark your inspiration!

To begin the new season, two classes will be held for adults:

Beginning Drawing -- In this class you will learn all the skills necessary to create a life-like piece of art that you’d be proud to display. This class will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. March 13, 15, 20, 22, and 29.

Intro to Printmaking -- This class offers an opportunity to learn to design, carve and print using different techniques, concepts and materials. It will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on April 17, 19, 24, 26 and May 1, 3.

Next, learn the art of melting colorful Italian glass rods into one of a kind glass beads in our Lampwork Glass Bead Making class. Explore techniques that allow you to create several types of shapes, colors and designs. A bonus within this class is that you will also be introduced to information on safely setting up your own studio. Class will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 5, or from Noon until 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 6.

To obtain more information or to indicate your interest in these classes please call the Calumet Art Center at (906) 934-2228. Click here to visit the Calumet Art Center Web site.

Click here for the class schedule.

Graphic design exhibit at Reflection Gallery in March

HANCOCK -- The Finlandia University Reflection Gallery, Hancock, will host "The History and DNA of a Designer," a graphic design exhibit by Robert Grame, March 1 to March 31, 2012.

Dallas Community Lighthouse Proposal Designs by Robert Grame. (Image courtesy Finlandia University)

An opening reception for the designer will take place at the Reflection Gallery from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, March 1. The reception is free and open to the public; refreshments will be served.

As a practicing designer, Grame believes strongly in the social and ethical responsibility of design. He is driven to broaden connections and develop new relationships in regard to non-profit and not-for-profit design.

"As a design generalist, I believe in pursuing balance in terms of creative output between industry related activities (print/interactive publication work, information architecture and identity) and personal experimentation (digital illustration, motion and typography)," Grame explains.

Grame’s experimental/expressionistic efforts are focused on creating statements about typography and producing digital illustrations. His personal experimentation fuels the network of ideas and aspects of his professional activities and informs and strengthens his efforts in industry.

Robert Grame is the head of the Graphic Design degree program at Finlandia University. He has taught at the University of Texas at Arlington, the University of South Dakota, the University of Wyoming, and Kansas State University. He has held industry positions with FryeAllen, Inc., an advertising agency in Topeka, Kan., and with KSN News Channel 3 of Wichita, Kan.

Grame received a master of fine arts from Kansas State University, Manhattan. He has completed national and regional design activities with organizations including the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), the Jentel (Wyoming) Artist Residency Program, the U.S. National Park Service, among others.

Grame has received awards including the Sixth District Case Bronze Award for the 2000 Department of Theatre and Dance Film Festival Poster, and he was Runner-up Recipient of the "Millennial Design Contest" awarded by Adobe Systems, Inc.

Grame’s work has been exhibited internationally in numerous juried and invitational venues, including shows at The Smithsonian Institute Arts and Industries Building, Washington D.C.; the Luxun Academy of Fine Arts, Senyang, China; and the "United Designs" Biennial International Design Exhibition in Amman, Jordan, among others.

The Reflection Gallery is located on the second level of Finlandia’s Jutila Center campus, 200 Michigan St., Hancock.

For additional information, please contact Yueh-mei Cheng, professor of studio arts, at 906-487-7375 or e-mail

Portage Library to host children's programs Mar. 1, 5

HOUGHTON -- Portage Lake District Library announces two upcoming programs for children -- a "Dr. Seuss Extravaganza" on Thursday, March 1, and a "DINO-mite Dinosaur Dig!" on Monday, March 5.

Celebrate Dr. Seuss March 1

The "Dr. Seuss Extravaganza," to be held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 1, will celebrate the anniversary of Dr. Seuss’ birthday and the whimsical magic of his stories.

This event is sponsored by members of Michigan Tech’s Circle K Service Organization. Tech students will read classic Dr. Seuss stories and lead the kids in decorating Cat in the Hat cookies with a Dr. Seuss-ish flourish. Gluten-free cookies will also be available for those who want them.

Circle K International Service Organization looks for opportunities for service, leadership, and friendship. Their wide range of projects includes activities such as picking up trash on highways and playing board games with the elderly.

All kids welcome to "DINO-mite Dinosaur Dig!" March 5

The Portage Lake District Library and the Copper Country Reading Council will co-host a "DINO-mite Dinosaur Dig!" from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday, March 5, at the library.

All children Pre-K through Upper Elementary are invited to join the fun. Kids will dig for dinosaur "bones" and reconstruct the dinosaurs they find, listen to and write dinosaur stories, and learn dinosaur facts. They will also make maps of dinosaur habitats and learn how to write legends for their maps. Participants will take home a small dinosaur and some pre-historic "mud" (playdough) to make dinosaur tracks in.

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

Monday, February 27, 2012

Rag rug class with Eve Lindsey begins Feb. 28 at Calumet Art Center

CALUMET -- Create a beautiful 24"x 29" rag rug with Eve Lindsey using the Calumet Art Center's historic floor looms and warp. The first instructional night will be from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28. After the initial class students will have access to the looms throughout the month of March to work on their rugs.

The Calumet Art Center can accommodate students outside of regular hours. A class fee of $60 will include the use of floor looms and warp. You will need to bring your own material (cotton rags).

The Calumet Art Center is at 57055 Fifth Street in Calumet. For info call 906-281-3494.

Utilities find wind is cheaper than expected

By Ryan Werder, Michigan League of Conservation Voters (LCV)
Posted Feb. 20, 2012, on Michigan LCV's Political Week in Review (PWIR)*

Utilities are on track to meet the 2008 renewable energy standard of 10 percent by 2015, according to a new report by the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC). The really cool news, though, is that this official and non-partisan Commission found that it is much cheaper to build and purchase renewable energy than they had originally forecast.

We know that reports on energy usage aren't as thrilling as the Red Wings' home-game win streak, but the numbers in here really are exciting. For example, in 2011, $78.6 million was invested in renewable energy in Michigan. Another fun fact: With wind energy coming in cheaper than anticipated, Consumers Energy dropped its renewable energy surcharge from $2.50 to 65 cents, saving their customers $22 a year, on average.

As I've said before, the common sense economics of clean energy will continue to win out as it becomes more prevalent in Michigan. Gamesa, a Spanish company which produces wind turbines in the US, announced recently that it is going to build some of that renewable energy capacity in the Upper Peninsula. Gamesa is constructing a 28 megawatt wind farm in Garden Township, southwest of Manistique. Gamesa, you may remember, is also negotiating another contract to construct a Muskegon County wind farm.**

The outcome of all this investment in Michigan? Jobs for Michigan workers, savings for Michigan ratepayers. I love typing up this kind of news.

With your vote, you can ensure that I can send you more of the same great news long into the future. Construction, manufacturing, servicing, and maintenance jobs for renewable energy projects like the Garden Wind Farm will increase dramatically if Michigan residents vote for the proposed 25 percent by 2025 Renewable Energy Standard (RES) in November. The RES builds upon the 2008 measure, and will put us ahead of neighboring states like Minnesota, Illinois, and Ohio that are outpacing us right now.

* Visit Michigan LCV's new Facebook page to sign up for updates like the PWIR.
Click here for more PWIR news, including candidate Mitt Romney's comment on Michigan trees.

** Click here to read about Gamesa's U.P. wind farm.

Democrats who vote in Michigan Republican Primary can still vote in May 5 Democratic caucuses

HOUGHTON -- Mark Brewer, Michigan Democratic Party chair, says Republicans have extended an invitation to all Michigan Democrats to crossover and vote in the Michigan GOP presidential primary tomorrow, Tuesday, Feb. 28.

"Democrats who accept this invitation will still be able to vote in our May 5th caucuses," Mark Brewer said. "If Democratic crossover votes affect the results on February 28th, Republicans will have no one but themselves to blame."

Visit for more info.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Mellen, Wis., residents speak out on proposed Taconite mine, AB 426

By Wendy Thiede*

MELLEN, Wis. -- For the first time since this debate began a year ago, the people of Mellen had the chance to express their views on the proposed Gogebic Taconite mine and Assembly Bill 426. Approximately 150 people attended a hearing on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012, called by Senator Bob Jauch (Poplar) and Senator Dayle Schulz (R-Richland Center) at the Mellen School.

Also on the panel of legislators were Senator Tim Cullen (D-Janesville), Senator Jim Holperin (D-Conover), and Representative Janet Bewley (D-Ashland). Senator Jauch spoke for the group when he said it was about time we came to Mellen, the heart of the proposed mine area.

Unlike at previous hearings in Hurley and Madison, speakers were not screened and not given a time limit. Instead, each approached the microphone unannounced and presented their impromptu, heart-felt views on the mining legislation AB426 and how they perceived it would affect them. Most of the speakers reside between one and 15 miles from the mine site.

After a welcome by City Council President Pete Russo, the listening session was kicked off by Joe Barabe, Mayor of Mellen for 24 years. Although he is in favor of a mine coming to the area, he emphatically stated that if AB426 passed, he would essentially be handing over the keys of Mellen to Gogebic Taconite.

"Make no mistake, I am pro-mine, pro-people, but not this mine under these conditions."

That was the prevailing sentiment in almost all of the succeeding comments. Yes, people of the area want and need jobs, but they are not willing to sacrifice their clean water, pristine surroundings, and small town safety. Even the 5th graders, when asked by their teacher Melinda Colver, said they want things to stay the way they are, even if it means no McDonald’s. Connie, whose family has lived here since 1880, asked what will we leave our children, the biggest pit in the world or the cleanest watershed? Paul, a relative newcomer to the area from Chicago, said that maybe our children will leave to find work, but we should at least give them a place to come home to. Several people said that even though they had been here all their lives, they would leave if this mine were operated under AB426.

Because of the Assembly Bill 426, a feeling of distrust has surfaced even among mine supporters. People are looking for facts which they are not getting from the mining company or their government. If they knew the plan, they could address the issues, ask the right questions, and make intelligent decisions. Citizens commented that AB426 protects the mining company from environmental regulations and that if the mine could be operated safely, they wouldn’t be asking for these changes. Senator Jauch addressed the issue of trust, saying that there is frustration with the way the bill was rushed and the public manipulated to look only at the economic impact. He referenced a speaker from the Platteville hearing who said legislators should write a law as if they lived 1500 feet from the mine.

Although a handful of citizens spoke out against the mine and a few spoke for it, the majority expressed the same view as that of Mayor Barabe. They are in favor of mining returning to the area but not in favor of this bill which jeopardizes the quality of the environment. Several people advised the senators to slow down. Don’t rush into these changes; go to Hibbing to see what it’s like; encourage all legislators to visit the area up here before voting; consult scientists.

The words of the 9th-grade boy said it best: "What do we have to gain from this mine?"

When everyone who wished to had spoken, the legislators answered some of the questions and summed up the comments. Senator Jauch said what he heard was that we must not weaken our environmental standards, that mining under current law is legal, and that GTac, after receiving their drilling permit, has chosen of their own will to halt operations and to hold the people of Wisconsin hostage in order to get the laws changed in their favor. The Wisconsin Way Mining Bill, authored by Senators Jauch and Schultz, presents a compromise that balances the economic needs of the mining company with the environmental needs of the people of Wisconsin.

Senator Cullen’s conclusion was that there is a lot of common sense up here, and he won’t vote for AB426. When the state campaigns to attract jobs, those manufacturing jobs are different from jobs requiring mountain top removal and should therefore be subject to different tests.

Senator Holperin said the moving, articulate comments expressed in about an hour today conveyed a consistent message that was more impactful than the 10-hour hearings in Madison. That message was that if the Penokee Hills cannot be mined without sacrificing the environment, then the mine shouldn’t be permitted.

Senator Schulz said he learned that this community prizes its environment over jobs. He will take the spirit of citizenship shown here back to Madison to find common ground in the Senate. He does not support AB426 as it does not treat the people up here fairly. Although he feels we must have a growing economy, if we do not have a safe environment, there will be no reason for more jobs. This week he will be looking for answers about why the specific changes in the law were requested by the mining company. And finally, he believes we can achieve both an economy that allows people to earn a living and one that appreciates the environment.

Representative Bewley said it was a privilege to represent the people of this area and she appreciates the demonstration of respect shown for different opinions on this very complex issue. What is our economy if not our environment?

The Assembly Bill 426 will be discussed in the Joint Finance Committee next week while the Wisconsin Way compromise bill will be introduced in the Senate.

Wisconsin Eye filmed this event. Visit their Web site at

*Editor's Note: Guest writer Wendy Thiede is a resident of Iron County, Wis.

Stop Sulfide Mining Song -- "Generations 2 Come"

From Diadra Decker of Water Legacy*

Larry Long has written a heart-felt song about protecting Minnesota's Boundary Waters from sulfide mining!

Larry will perform it at the Sled Dogs to St. Paul (Minnesota) rally beginning at 10:30 a.m. outside the Capitol building Thursday, March 8. Dogs and mushers will arrive by 11:30 a.m. to deliver thousands of petition signatures to the governor -- collected along the way from the farthest northeast reaches of Minnesota on an 8-day trek -- snow or no snow!

Larry encourages us to make the song our own. Sing it, spread it, add verses ... (guitar: capo 3rd fret, Em and B).

Click here to listen to the song and see the lyrics below to sing along:

Generations 2 Come

Keep on riding. Keep on riding.
Them dog sleds into town.
Stop that mining. Stop that mining.
By the Boundary Waters right now!
To be protected! To be respected! Generations 2 come!

Keep on talking. Keep on walking.
Nobody can stop us now.
Legislation. Devastation.
Some things should be kept in the ground
To be protected! To be respected! Generations 2 come!

Sulfide mining. Sulfide mining.
Sulfuric acid running over the ground.
Acid rock drainage.
Don’t let them poison what we need to pass down.
To be protected! To be respected! Generations 2 come!

To take the profit. To leave the jobless
With mountains of toxic waste.
Squander the treasure of clean water
All across the Great Lakes?
To be protected! To be respected! Generations 2 come!

Pollution. Solution.
Cleanup that taconite mess.
Before mining sulfide,
Before there’s nothing left.
To be protected! To be respected! Generations 2 come!

Clean water. Clean air and water
For Mahnomen to grow.*
For the living to keep on giving
To this beautiful earth we call home.
To be protected! To be respected! Generations 2 come!

Words and Music: © 2012 Larry Long. Reprinted with permission.
Larry Long Publishing 2012 / BMI
"Generations 2 Come" was written with help from Jan Attridge, Diadra Decker, Marco Good, Betsy Bowen.
Larry Long is a Smithsonian Folkways Recording Artist and Executive Director of Community Celebration of Place. For more information: and; email:

*Mahnomen or Manoomin is Ojibwa for wild rice. Visit for information on the threats of sulfide mining to water and the Native wild rice in Minnesota.

Click here to sign a petition opposed to sulfide mining in Minnesota.

Gromit: "Retro Ski" at Churning Rapids a success!

HANCOCK -- Gromit the snow dog reports the "Retro (old-fashioned) Ski" event held by the Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club Saturday, Feb. 25, at Churning Rapids was a success! She has posted photos of the event on her blog, The Trail Mutt Reports.

"All kinds of friendly people...and KIDS!" says Gromit. Click on photos for larger versions. (Photos © and courtesy Arlyn Aronson)

Close-up of the Lavvu used for the Retro Ski event. The Lavvu is a temporary dwelling used by the Sami people of what is sometimes called Lapland, in northern Europe. Its simplicity enabled the Sami to move quickly with their semi-domesticated reindeer herds. While the Lavvu is easy to assemble, Gromit, at right, insists these skiers needed her supervision. Click here to read more about the Lavvu.

See more photos of the "Retro Ski" on Gromit's blog, The Trail Mutt Reports.

Headwaters News: Mine Haul Road Poorly Planned

By Jack Parker
Posted on Headwaters News Feb. 23, 2012

Note: This article was written in response to Headwaters’ Feb. 22, 2012, article, "Citizens Pack Hearing to Oppose Rio Tinto Road."*

Dear Editors:

Not a bad summary, but the most important questions were neither answered nor asked.

1. Justification for a road. Apparently it is to haul from mine(s) to mill. But why not ship direct from mine to smelter, as originally planned? The plan is still to mine only high-grade Massive and Semi-Massive ores, isn’t it?

Was it an error to purchase the mill, now necessitating a cover-up?

Why is the mill equipped to handle 10,000 tpd [tons per day] while the Eagle produces only 2,000 tpd?

At 10,000 tpd where would the extra tailings go?

Given the original plan, to ship direct to Ontario, no special haul road would be needed....

Click here to read the rest of this article.

* Click here to read Headwaters' Feb 22 article about the Feb. 21, 2012, DEQ Hearing on the proposed CR 595.