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, May 26, 2012

Portage Library to show BBC film May 26

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library will show the film Her Majesty, Mrs. Brown at 6:30 p.m. TONIGHT, Saturday, May 26. This BBC film tells the true story of one of the most powerful women in the Western world -- the Queen of the British Empire -- and her friendship with a lowly Scottish servant whose primary job was to look after the horses. When circumstances brought the widowed Queen Victoria and her servant John Brown together, the result was a friendship that scandalized the nation and nearly toppled the British Monarchy. Filmed on location in Scotland and England, this film opens up the long-shrouded history of Victoria’s second great love as she presided over her nation’s transformation into a 20th-century industrial power. This film is rated PG.

This film is part of a Celtic film series presented by the Celtic Quarter, a local, non-profit group dedicated to preserving Celtic heritage in the Copper Country.The Celtic Quarter welcomes new members regardless of heritage. In 2009 they purchased the historic Pewabic House at 222 Hancock Ave. in Hancock. Plans for the building include a small museum, a genealogy center, and a welcome place for meetings and classes in all things Celtic. They can be reached through their website at

All library programs are free and everyone is welcome. For more information you may call the library at 482-4570 or visit

Updated: Gratiot Lake Conservancy to offer summer workshops

Bob Marr will again be offering a Beginners Workshop on Dragonflies and Damselflies through Gratiot Lake Conservancy this summer. See below to read about this and other workshops that still have openings. (Photo © and courtesy Jim Hay of Gratiot Lake Conservancy. Reprinted with permission.)

GRATIOT LAKE -- Gratiot Lake Conservancy (GLC) has exciting offerings on tap for July and August. All workshops require advance registration. Here are some descriptions of those that still have vacancies:

Sketching the Landscape in Watercolor -- 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 14, and Sunday, July 15.
Instructor: Marilynn Brandenburger.
Location: Eagle Harbor Community Building and outdoor locations in the vicinity. Fee: $100 ($85 GLC members) Advance registration required.
Suitable for persons of all levels of art experience. Advance registration required (limited enrollment).

A student at a recent GLC workshop given by Marilynn Brandenburger works on a watercolor journal. (Photo © and courtesy Bonnie Hay) 

Marilynn Brandenburger has been painting and exhibiting professionally for more than twenty-five years. Awards and recognitions include grants from private and public foundations, appointments as Artist-in-Residence in national and state parks, including Isle Royale National Park. Her work is in collections throughout the U.S. Marilynn’s work has been featured in national newspaper and magazine articles and in two books: The Best of Colored Pencil 5 and The Island Within Us. She has also illustrated three books. Click here to read more about Marilynn Brandenburger and the workshop.

A Retreat at Gratiot Lake Preserve and Noblet Field Station: Connecting More Deeply with Nature and Spirit -- 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 21 (Raindate July 22)
Facilitated by Bonnie Hay and Sharon Levine
Location: Noblet Field Station and Gratiot Lake Preserve
Fee: $50 ($45 GLC members) Advance registration required.

Cabin at Noblet Field Station near Gratiot Lake. (Photo © and courtesy Jim Hay)

Participate in a guided process to develop skills of careful observation in nature through direct sensory experience. It will be a time to rekindle your imagination and translate your perceptions into stories or images. Details of the Saturday meeting location and what to bring will be sent to you. Bring a bag lunch and extra drinking water since no potable water is available at the GLC preserve. Please wear comfortable clothing suitable for being out-of-doors and shoes suitable for moderate walking. Click here to read more about this workshop.

Beginners Workshop on Dragonflies and Damselflies -- 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, August 11 (Raindate August 12)
Instructor: Bob Marr
Location: Sites in Keweenaw County. Meeting location to be determined closer to the date.
Fee: $20 ($15 GLC members) Janet Avery Scholarship available. Advance registration required.
Learn identification, safe capture and release, and techniques for observation of these "winged dragons" and "neon toothpicks." Appropriate for adults and children 11 and older with an interest in nature (accompanied by an adult). The day will start with a short (about 45-minute) overview of life cycle, ecology, morphology, and behavior followed by field identification. There will be a break for lunch and then more field observation. Since both aquatic and terrestrial habitat will be explored, participants are encouraged to bring along wading shoes or boots.... Click here to read more about this workshop.

All workshops require advance registration. More information and downloadable application forms are at Go to the drop down menu at the top of the page and select "What’s New" to find the GLC calendar and workshop list.  For further information contact Bonnie: or leave a phone message at 906-337-5476.

Mike Schira to present "Living by Water" June 30

GLC is planning to host Mike Schira, District Educator of the MSU Extension from 10 a.m. to Noon on Saturday, June 30, at the Eagle Harbor Community Building. Mike’s talk will be "Living by Water." He will explain how lakeshore landowners can protect the lakes and rivers they love. This is free and open to all.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Gallerie Bohème in Calumet is open May 26, 28

The Gallerie Bohème in Calumet is open this weekend from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 26, and on Memorial Day, Monday, May 28. The exhibit, "Paddles and Prints," work by Tom Rudd and Margo McCafferty, opened May 4.

To view work at other times, please call Tom Rudd at 906-369-4086

The Gallerie Bohème is located at 426 Fifth Street in Calumet.

  Paddles, by Tom Rudd. (Photos by Keweenaw Now)

Isle Royale Series: North Superior. Color reduction relief print by Tom Rudd and Margo McCafferty.

Flood Series: Village. Color reduction relief print by Tom Rudd and Margo McCafferty. 

The Gallerie Bohème will present a showing of "New Work by Joyce Koskenmaki" in June. The opening reception will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on First Friday, June 1.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Main Street Calumet Market's June riddle is here

CALUMET -- The Main Street Calumet Market is ready with its June riddle. See if you can find the key that makes this accurate statement make sense:

Every lady in this land
Has twenty nails, upon each hand
Five, and twenty on hands and feet:
All this is true, without deceit.

The first 3 children 12 or under, accompanied by a parent or guardian, who give the correct answer to the Main Street Calumet Market manager on Saturday, June 9, 2012, will win a prize. Parental help is encouraged. The market, located at 200 Fifth St. on the corner of Fifth and Portland Streets in downtown Calumet, Michigan, features seasonal produce, crafts by area artisans and a variety of products by local businesses. It is held every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the first Friday of each month from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Answer to the May Market Riddle:

Congratulations to the winners of the Main Street Calumet Market  Riddle Contest for May.
The May riddle was this:

 Little Nancy Etticoat
 In a white petticoat,
 And a red nose.
 The longer she stands
 The shorter she grows.

 Answer: A candle.

Barb Koski to present Stanton Township history program May 24

HOUGHTON -- Today, Stanton Township may be more commonly associated with quiet country roads, dense forests, and scenic vistas than it is with industrial activity. One hundred years ago, however, it was busy with logging, fishing, farming, and stamp milling. Revisit historic Stanton Township with Barb Koski as she shares its role in copper production and other commercial endeavors.

The presentation will take place at 7 p.m. TONIGHT, Thursday, May 24, in the Stanton Township Hall, located at 14010 Liminga Road, off Houghton’s Canal Road. The event is free and open to the public.

Barb Koski’s connection to the Keweenaw began in 1958 with summers spent in Agate Harbor. Researching her husband’s family history of immigrating to Liminga sparked her interest in Copper Country history. Since undertaking that project, she has researched and written extensively about the area’s history. Stanton Township has been a particular focus of her research.

Koski has combed archives, talked to long-time residents, and uncovered the history of both well-known features like the Redridge Dam and less obvious ones like Edgemere and shares them with a wide audience on the Stanton Township website. She will share what she has learned in this illustrated presentation.

This program is part of the popular monthly Fourth Thursday in History series, now in its eleventh year, offered by Keweenaw National Historical Park, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

For further information, including specific directions to this event, contact Keweenaw National Historical Park at (906)483-3176, or visit their Web site.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Updated: Big Bay residents report on Rio Tinto AGM in London

By Michele Bourdieu

MARQUETTE -- Two Big Bay, Mich., residents concerned about air pollution from Rio Tinto-Kennecott's Eagle Mine went all the way to London -- to Rio Tinto's April 19, 2012, Annual General Meeting (AGM) with shareholders -- to request an independent, third-party air quality monitoring program for the mine.

During a rally preceding the Rio Tinto Annual General Meeting (AGM), Big Bay residents Cynthia Pryor (far right, holding sign) and Carla Champagne joined other groups who protested against Rio Tinto's projects and practices around the world, as well as their corporate sponsorship of the Olympic Games. Groups pictured here include the Utah Moms for Clean Air (with banner) and United Steel Workers Union members from Quebec (in orange shirts). See below for their comments at the AGM. (Photo © 2012 by Sallie Dean Shatz of Reprinted with permission.)

When Cynthia Pryor of the Yellowdog Watershed Preserve and Carla Champagne of Concerned Citizens of Big Bay finally had their chance to speak at the AGM -- near the end of the question session -- the shareholders in the audience and the board members in the front of the large hall in Queen Elizabeth II Conference Center, just minutes before, had heard from a woman representing Utah Moms for Clean Air -- a Salt Lake City mother whose son had nearly died from asthma. According to Utah Moms, he is one of many children affected by air pollution attributed to Rio Tinto-Kennecott's huge open-pit Bingham Canyon mining operation near Salt Lake City.

That young mother, Alexandra Allred, was nearly in tears as she told the story of rushing her son to the hospital -- and of the many funerals of children she has attended in her community. Addressing both the shareholders and the company executives, Allred asked in a voice choked with emotion, "Can all of you please make a vow to me that you will put environmental issues in the forefront ... that you will become socially responsible for air quality and the environment -- not just where I live but around the world?"

Her request was answered with applause from the audience. Jan DuPlessis, Rio Tinto board chair, assured her he was sensitive to her "highly personal" question and was aware of the air quality problem in the Salt Lake City basin.

"I believe that Rio Tinto probably is the most responsible company in our sector when it comes to dealing with the environment," DuPlessis said.

They may not always get it right, he added, but they "will always try to do better."

At the very end of the question period DuPlessis took a question from Cherise Udell, also of Utah Moms for Clean Air. Udell said Salt Lake City has been cited by the conservative Forbes magazine as being the ninth most toxic city in the U.S., and it gets an "F" grade year after year from the American Lung Association.

"Rio Tinto," Udell stated, "is the number-one point-source emission in Utah and responsible for about 30 percent of the air pollution. This is a liability for you shareholders."

Tom Albanese, Rio Tinto chief executive, blamed the air pollution on their subsidiary Kennecott's vehicles as well as automobile traffic in the Salt Lake Valley. He said Rio Tinto is committed to reduce emissions "from Kennecott" with "extended light rail" and to begin converting vehicles from gasoline to natural gas.

That statement might make Marquette residents wonder why Rio Tinto's subsidiary Kennecott, after obtaining for the Eagle Mine a permit based on their original plan to haul the ore by rail, has since been allowed to change that plan to a haul route through Marquette (for an estimated nearly 50 trucks a day, each way) -- unless their alternative, CR 595 through the woods, should be approved by the federal agencies that have twice opposed it because of potential impacts to wetlands and streams.

Rio Tinto-Kennecott's Eagle Mine near Big Bay, Mich. The portal to the mine is at right, where it enters Eagle Rock, a sacred Ojibwe site. Click on photo for larger version. (Photo © and courtesy Jeremiah Eagle Eye. Reprinted with permission)

When Carla Champagne of Big Bay made her request for an independent, third-party air quality monitoring program for the Eagle Mine, Albanese spoke directly to the audience to assure them that air pollution near Big Bay was merely "particulate dust" that would be the equivalent of 15 wood-burning home heating units. He told Champagne Rio Tinto would fund and set up an air quality monitoring body to include representatives from the community, NGOs and probably academia.

"That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about an independent, third-party air quality monitoring program," Champagne said. "If you're paying for it you're going to get the results you want. I would recommend -- and to all the shareholders also -- that instead of spending all that money on public relations you put that money where it can actually do something for the people of my community. You can afford it."

Champagne and Pryor gave a brief report on their trip to Rio Tinto's AGM at an April 30 meeting of a coalition of environmental groups in Marquette. Keweenaw Now recorded some of their comments.

Carla Champagne of Concerned Citizens of Big Bay tells members of a coalition of environmental groups in Marquette about speaking to Rio Tinto executives and shareholders concerning the need for an independent, third-party air quality monitoring program for Rio Tinto - Kennecott's Eagle Mine. (Videos by Keweenaw Now)

Gene Champagne, Carla's husband, who also attended the Marquette coalition meeting, said he and other Big Bay residents have noticed significant air pollution from the mine.

"Currently, as they drill the tunnel, they are venting everything out the mine portal," Gene Champagne said. "We have no idea what is in the exhaust other than you can get a nauseating whiff of diesel fumes while standing on the AAA Road on some days. The exhaust fan is powered by a diesel generator. This is especially true if the wind happens to be blowing around."

Powell Township approves resolution for air quality monitoring

On Tuesday, May 22, 2012, Powell Township, which includes the Big Bay area, passed a resolution for the kind of air quality monitoring program Carla Champagne requested of Rio Tinto at the London AGM. The resolution states, in part, " response to Citizen’s concerns, we the Powell Township Board do ask that the Environmental Protection Agency and or the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality develop an Air Quality Monitoring program in our region, with monitors installed at present and future mine sites, within the community of Big Bay, and at any other sites in Powell Township that these agencies deem appropriate. We ask that the EPA and or the DEQ designate air quality scientists to monitor and maintain this air quality program; ask that the mining companies cover all the costs for the implementation and on-going support for this air quality monitoring program; and that all data and information be available for citizen review."

Meeting with Albanese after AGM

After the AGM, Cynthia Pryor and Carla Champagne met with Tom Albanese, Rio Tinto chief executive, to discuss several issues. Pryor expressed objections to Kennecott's recent air quality permit application (for the Eagle Mine), which requests removal of the air filter controls from the Main Vent Air Raise. This Air Raise, which will be used as the only exhaust for all the underground mine workings, is a 65-ft. stack located within 150 feet of the Salmon Trout River (under which the ore body lies). The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is reviewing this permit application and has already asked Kennecott to make some changes.* According to an April 20, 2012, article in the Marquette Mining Journal, a public hearing and public comment period will be scheduled before the DEQ makes a final decision on the air permit, possibly this summer.**

View of the Salmon Trout River, not far from the Main Vent Air Raise, which will be used as the only exhaust from the Eagle Mine. Kennecott's ore body (copper and nickel) is under this trout stream. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

Cynthia Pryor noted the trip provided an opportunity to meet with Richard Solly and other members of the London Mining Network (LMN) -- an alliance of human rights, development, and environmental groups working to expose supporters of unacceptable mining projects.

Pryor also mentioned the Greenwash Gold 2012 action: LMN has promoted voting for Rio Tinto in the Greenwash Gold 2012 "competition" to vote for the worst corporate sponsor (the others are BP and Dow Chemical) of the London Olympic Games. Metal for the 2012 Olympic medals will come from the company’s Bingham Canyon (Kennecott) mine in Utah and its Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia -- both of which threaten human health.***

Here is an excerpt from Pryor's report on the London trip to environmental coalition members at their Apr. 30 meeting in Marquette:

Cynthia Pryor of the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve speaks about attending Rio Tinto's London AGM to representatives of several local environmental groups at their coalition meeting in Marquette on April 30, 2012.

As Pryor and Champagne pointed out to coalition members, people affected by Rio Tinto's mining projects came to the AGM from various parts of the world to express their concerns. The entire AGM Web cast can be viewed on the Rio Tinto Web site.****

Here are some more highlights of the AGM question period -- more than two hours of open comments, mostly in opposition to Rio Tinto's policies and projects.

Mongolia: Oyu Tolgoi mine threatens water supply

Mongolian activist Zanaa Jurmed, Director of the Center for Citizens’ Alliance in Mongolia, questioned Rio Tinto's claim that they are training thousands of Mongolians to work in their Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine in the Gobi Desert.

"You might train hundreds of workers but not thousands," Jurmed said.

She was also concerned about the lack of rules to protect Mongolian women from sexual harassment by Chinese workers.

"We have a zero tolerance policy towards sexual harassment," Albanese replied.

Jurmed's main concern, though, was Rio Tinto's depletion of water resources. She accused Rio Tinto of not disclosing their social and health impact statement. According to the London Mining Network, the mine will use enormous quantities of water in a desert region and the company has failed to demonstrate the availability of sufficient water needed for the mine as well as the population.

"Are you going to do a cumulative risk assessment?" Jurmed asked, noting the danger that the water supply in the Gobi region could run out.

Albanese defended the company's plans to use groundwater from a deep, saline aquifer not suitable for humans or animals and said the company will supplement surface water.

A second speaker supported Jurmed's claims, referring to a report from USAID (United States Agency for International Development) on potential environmental impacts of mining projects in Mongolia on water, air quality and habitat fragmentation. The report also mentions the challenge of water availability in a desert environment with many herders. It gives details on the Oyu Tolgoi mine and the company's plans to use deep aquifers they claim will not connect with more shallow water sources used by herders.

According to the report, "Mining companies state that there is no communication between the shallow and deep aquifers; however, if pressed, there is no proven evidence in the public domain to validate their claim."*****

DuPlessis cut this speaker off, refusing to take more questions on Mongolia.

"We are very proud of our engagement in Mongolia," he said.

Union Workers locked out in Quebec

Criticisms and questions also came from a representative of the locked-out United Steel Workers from Alma, Quebec. Albanese claimed the union's demands for hiring more workers were excessive and there was evidence of vandalism and sabotage at the plant -- hence, the lock out. Denying the vandalism, the union spokesman said he was just asking Rio Tinto to go back to the table and negotiate.

Pryor reported 14 representatives of the Quebec Steel Workers attended the AGM.

"The Quebec Steel Workers were told to go back home and be reasonable and the company would meet with them -- which was met with outrage by the workers," Pryor said.

Pebble Mine threatens salmon of Bristol Bay, Alaska

Albanese also heard from representatives of tribal groups, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Earth Works -- who questioned Rio Tinto's partnership with the Anglo American mining company in the Pebble Mine project near Bristol Bay, Alaska -- a proposed open-pit mine to be located at the headwaters of the largest, possibly the last, salmon fishery in the world.

Jason Metrokin, president/CEO of Bristol Bay Native Corp., noted 54 percent of Alaskan voters and more than 80 percent of Bristol Bay residents oppose the project because of the risk to the salmon habitat. Joel Reynolds of NRDC said he had a million petitions from around the world asking Rio Tinto to withdraw from the project. He said he had brought 150,000 of them with him to present to Rio Tinto. Bonnie Gestering of Earth Works said her organization was in support of the native peoples and fishermen opposed to the Pebble Mine and asked Albanese to consider the results of an EPA study on the suitability of large-scale mining in the Bristol Bay watershed.

Both DuPlessis and Albanese replied they were not in favor of an open-pit operation in Bristol Bay. However, Albanese said he was interested in an underground ore body in that area, which would require 10 years of exploration.

On April 20, the day after the AGM, Cynthia Pryor visited Ian Collard of the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office, American Directorate and presented the history of the Eagle project. She mentioned issues including Rio Tinto-Kennecott's disregard of law, collusion with and corruption of state and local government, Indian Rights and treaty violations, the desecration of Eagle Rock as a sacred site. She also told Collard about issues of water quality, air quality and good science.

Pryor learned that Collard had been to the U.P. as a boy scout and was familiar with the beauty of the place. Noting the reputation of British companies in foreign countries is important, he said he would share a copy of their discussion.

Carla Champagne commented on meeting and hearing from people all over the world at the AGM and noted a similarity in Rio Tinto's reactions to their concerns.

"One of the things that struck me was that Rio Tinto acts the same -- everywhere they go," Carla said. "It's just their degree of corruption that changes. People from Mongolia, people from West Papua New Guinea, people from Canada -- the United Steel Workers that were locked out -- they're all treated the same."

* Click here to read Kennecott's application for an air quality permit on the DEQ Web site.
** See "Kennecott wants mine air permit revised," by John Pepin of the Mining Journal.
*** Click here to read about Rio Tinto and Greenwash Gold 2012. Read about the London Mining Network on their Web site.
**** Click here to watch the Web cast of the Rio Tinto 2012 AGM in London.
***** Click here to read the USAID report on the Oyu Tolgoi mining project in Mongolia.
Update: See also Carla Champagne's Letter to the Mining Journal posted today, May 23: "Monitoring Needed."

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Portage Lake District Library invites all to Open House May 25

HOUGHTON -- The community is invited to an Open House at the Portage Lake District Library beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 25.  It’s an opportunity to enjoy a relaxing evening in the library as well as learn about the library’s downloadable audio books and eBooks.

Step-by-step lessons will be given by library staff on how to download books onto a PC or Mac computer as well as how to download books to a Kindle, iPod, Nook, Sony Reader and other compatible devices. People will discover that this is easy to do, there are no late fees, and it is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

This video clip shows a sample demonstration of how to download books from the library's digital collection to a Kindle for rental:

David Karnosky, Portage Library page and Web Site coordinator, shows library patron Shirley Galbraith of Houghton how to download a book from the library's digital collection to a Kindle. Portage Library Director Shawn Leche observes the procedure. (Video by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now)

Shawn Leche, Portage Lake District Library director, is excited about the library's new technology for digital rentals from the library's electronic collection of approximately 1600 books. He said he looks forward to the Open House this Friday, during which visitors will be able to download audio books and eBooks from the collection, which is found under Great Lakes Digital Library on the library's catalog. So bring your laptop, Kindle, iPod or other reader to the Open House and try it.

When you attend the Open House, be sure to notice "Mind Waves," these acrylic paintings by Bethany Stevens, on display through May 31 at the Portage Library. The paintings are inspired by the artist's meditation practice. "Mind waves are metaphors for thoughts that distract us from being in the present moment," Stevens states. The exhibit, just opposite the circulation desk, is a collaboration between the library and the Copper Country Community Arts Center. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

Refreshments will be catered by Illa Garver and Jeannine Blough, and everyone is welcome.

For more information, you may call the library at 482-4570 or visit

Monday, May 21, 2012

Michigan LCV: Green Gavels and Great Lakes

From Michigan League of Conservation Voters
Posted May 21, 2012

The Michigan Supreme Court just couldn't wait to test out the new Green Gavels accountability tool we launched last week, as they have already issued a brand new ruling that will ripple across Michigan's rivers and lakes. Hundreds of other Michigan voters couldn't wait to test it out, either, though they did so without wearing funny black robes. Well, most of them, at least.

Meanwhile, new bills introduced in the House and Senate could weaken the protections we have for our iconic sand dunes, joining existing legislation to weaken shoreline wetland protections. The Assault on Pure Michigan continues.

Click here to read more on this week's Michigan LCV Political Week in Review.

Ride the Keweenaw weekend is May 25-29

COPPER HARBOR -- It's time for the third annual Ride the Keweenaw Weekend! Meant to highlight the great mountain bike trails in the Keweenaw, this event covers three days and four trail systems.

Cruising down the "Stairway to Heaven" in Copper Harbor, Mich. (Photo © Chuck Haney and courtesy Keweenaw Adventure Company)

Events start Friday, May 25, and continue through Sunday evening, May 27. The Ride the Keweenaw will offer guided rides throughout the weekend and also will feature the grand opening of the Copper Harbor IMBA (International Mountain Bicycling Association) Ride Center.

Pro riders Andrew Shandro and Tammy Donahue will join participants for a jumping clinic at the Michigan Tech Trails on Saturday, a women's clinic on Sunday and a freeride exhibition on Flying Squirrel Trail in Copper Harbor.

Riding "On the Edge" near Copper Harbor. (Photo © Aaron Peterson and courtesy Keweenaw Adventure Company)

Sunday of Ride the Keweenaw is the Ride Center Party in the Park fundraiser at 7 p.m. at Copper Harbor Park. For $25 you can get some good food, listen to some great music and contribute to the trails. Please help the organizers plan for attendance by registering for Sunday evening. Simply click here to register.

Please pay for your meals when you check in at Copper Harbor Park. BBQ and assorted beverages are on the menu. Pro Riders Andrew Shandro and Tammy Donahue will be there -- what about you?

Gromit the Trail Dog checks out the new Garden Brook Trail near Copper Harbor this past weekend. (Photo © and courtesy Arlyn and Sandy Aronson)

Currently there are only two IMBA Ride Centers in the Midwest and only seven world wide. So when you ride Copper Harbor you are literally riding world class trails. Your support made this happen and your continued support will only make these trails better!

Make sure to read on for the complete weekend schedule and plan to attend one, two or all of the weekend's events! Bring your friends, family and riding legs for a fun weekend of trails, food, good times, music and pro-riders.

"Ahhhh Garden Brook is my favorite stop!" Gromit notes. "Almost as good as seeing friendly bikers." (Photo © and courtesy Arlyn and Sandy Aronson)*

Here is the schedule:

Friday, May 25:
8 p.m. -- Mountain Bike Social at Keweenaw Brewing Co., downtown Houghton

Saturday, May 26:

9 a.m. -- Guided group ride at Michigan Tech Trails (post-ride food at trailhead)
10 a.m. --
Jumping clinic/demo – Michigan Tech Trails – Andrew Shandro and Tammy Donohugh
Noon --
Guided group ride at Churning Rapids Trails, Hancock (post-ride refreshments)
3 p.m. --
Guided group ride at Swedetown Trails, Calumet (post-ride grill-out at Swedetown)
9 p.m. --
Social gathering/music -- Mariner North in Copper Harbor

Sunday, May 27
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. --
Demo Day in Copper Harbor Park
10 a.m. --
Women’s MTB skill clinic and ride, Copper Harbor
10 a.m. --
Group rides at Copper Harbor trail, Copper Harbor Park
Noon - 5 p.m. --
Discounted shuttles up Brockway Mtn ($10 – Keweenaw Adventure Co., Copper Harbor
1 p.m. -- IMBA Ride Center dedication --
Top of Flow Trail on Brockway Mtn.
1:30 p.m. – Flying Squirrel Freeride Demo -- Andrew Shandro and Tammy Donahugh
7 p.m. -- Party in the Park
(BBQ, beverages and music) -- Copper Harbor Park*

* Editor's Note: Thanks to Lori Hauswirth and the Copper Harbor Trails Club for this information and to Sam Raymond of Keweenaw Adventure Company and Gromit the Trail Mutt and her "pack" for photos.

Pine Mountain Music Festival 22nd Season: "It's All About Love ..."

HANCOCK -- Pine Mountain Music Festival (PMMF) announces its 22nd season -- "It’s All About Love: from Mozart to Sondheim." Opening on June 7 and concluding on July 15, the Festival will enchant audiences in nearly a dozen towns across the central and western Upper Peninsula and northern Wisconsin. Some 37 performances will be presented, including opera, musical theatre, chamber music, and classical recitals.

Two productions this summer, Mozart’s Così fan tutte and Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, propose two views of love from very different perspectives. Both offer comedy and an insightful look at human nature and our search for love. In Così, two young men disguise themselves to test their lovers’ fidelity, and what begins as fun and games turns into something no one quite bargained for. The production will be sung in Italian, with projected English surtitles and an orchestra in the pit. Featuring PMMF's six Resident Opera Artists, Così will tour to Norway on June 17, Marquette on June 19, and Calumet on June 21.

Sondheim’s enduring and touching masterpiece, A Little Night Music, is the perfect midsummer musical. With a sweeping, lush score ("Send in the Clowns," "A Weekend in the Country") and a plot that cleverly weaves together stories of love, intrigue, and heartache, Sondheim continues the festival's exploration of love. Featuring guest artists Lucy Thrasher (Désirée), Marquette’s Paul Truckey (Fredrick), and sensational singer Luretta Bybee (Madam Armfeldt) along with PMMF Resident Opera Artists, A Little Night Music will be performed on July 13 and 15 in Houghton.

Returning after a year’s absence, the Bergonzi String Quartet will make their 15th appearance with the Festival. Bringing their charm, humor, and great music-making to the stage, they will be joined by piano sensation Tian Ying to offer a version of Gershwin’s masterpiece "Rhapsody in Blue" for string quartet and piano. Evening concerts and free afternoon children’s concerts are scheduled in Houghton on June 23, Kingsford on June 25, and Marquette on June 26.

Opening the season will be three Gala concerts: June 7 in Marquette, June 12 in Houghton, and June 13 in Iron Mountain. Offered in intimate and personal settings, these concerts introduce the festival's six Resident Opera Artists, who were selected through nationwide auditions from over 350 applicants.

International Croatian guitar sensation, Ana Vidovic, returns to the Upper Peninsula where she enthralled audiences in 2007 and 2008.  Once again, Ana will bring her exceptional musicianship, technical mastery, and grace to concert stages in Iron Mountain on June 14, Marquette on June 16, and Calumet on June 18.

“An Evening of Brahms” concert features the stunning solo piano playing of Tian Ying, two Brahms lullabies with Pamela McConnell of the Bergonzi String Quartet, and the romantic Liebeslieder Waltzes featuring four our Resident Opera Artists. Performances are scheduled on June 28 in Kingsford, June 30 in Houghton, and July 2 in Marquette.

Michigan native and rising star, Jeremy David Tarrant, will offer the festival's annual organ recital in Calumet on July 3, Ishpeming on July 6, and Iron Mountain on July 10.

This season, PMMF welcomes the Third Coast Brass ensemble, comprised of some of the finest brass musicians in the Midwestern United States, in a program featuring music of Mozart, Sibelius, Ewald, and Sondheim. Hear them in Marquette on July 5, Iron Mountain on July 6, and in Houghton on July 8.

A special feature of the Festival this year is an “UPstarts” concert, featuring up-and-coming musicians from the Upper Peninsula.  Tenor Miles Mykkanen from Bessemer and soprano Amada Boundy from Eben Junction will join Savannah Clayton, flute, and Susan Byykonen, piano, both from Calumet, to give audiences a look at what the U.P. can accomplish. They will perform seven concerts throughout the U.P. and Wisconsin: June 22 in Ontonagon, June 23 in Ironwood, June 24 in Land O’Lakes (WI), June 27 in Ishpeming, June 28 in Escanaba, June 29 in Munising, and July 1 in Houghton.

The Pine Mountain Music Festival presents a season of opera, symphony and chamber music each June-July in the Dickinson County area, the Marquette area, the Keweenaw Peninsula, and other smaller towns in the Upper Peninsula and northeastern Wisconsin.  Headquartered in Hancock, Michigan, it is supported by donations, ticket sales, and grants. Visit the web at, or call 888-309-7861 for more information. Tickets are now on sale and are available by calling 1-877-746-3999.

Portage Library to host Gluten-Free Recipe Exchange May 21, Stamp Collecting May 24

HOUGHTON -- Regular meetings of the Gluten-Free Recipe Exchange are held on the 3rd Monday of each month, September through May, from 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. at the Portage Lake District Library. The next and final meeting for this season will be on May 21, and everyone is invited to participate.

Each month features a different type of food, and May’s meeting will focus on foods that are quick and easy to prepare. Participants are welcome to bring their favorite easy dish or snack for sampling and are encouraged to share their recipes. Copies of the recipes will be made at the library. Please list all ingredients used in making foods that are shared at these meetings and identify the brand names of the gluten-free ingredients. Bringing food is not a requirement for attendance.

Participants are also encouraged to bring their former favorite recipes that they want help converting to gluten-free. Help will be available.

The Gluten-Free Recipe Exchange is organized by and for those who are interested in or required to follow a gluten-free diet. Gluten-free eating requires the avoidance of all wheat, rye, barley, and oats. Most people find it challenging at first, but are excited to find recipes and foods that are fun and easy to make and tasty to eat. The Gluten-Free Recipe Exchange is an opportunity to share those great recipes and learn from others. Everyone who is interested in learning more about gluten-free eating is encouraged to attend.

This program is free and open to all. For more information, please call a member of the group at 281-5216. You may also call the library at 482-4570 or visit

Stamp Collecting Group to meet at Portage Library

The Portage Lake District Library will host the stamp collecting group from 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 24, in the community room.

Beginner and experienced stamp collectors as well as those who are curious about stamp collecting are welcome. People who want help organizing their loose stamps are invited to bring them to this meeting.

For more information, please call the library at 482-4570 or visit

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Book Group to discuss "What is Sustainable," by Richard Reese, May 21

HOUGHTON -- The Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (KUUF) Book Group will meet at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 21, to discuss What is Sustainable, by Richard Reese. The discussion will be held in the Fellowship office, located in the 2nd floor annex at Trinity Episcopal Church, 203 Montezuma St, Houghton. Betzi Praeger, retired Michigan Tech professor of biology, will lead the discussion.

The discussion is open to the public. You need not have read the book to attend.

Click here to order the book from The book is also available on Kindle.

Click here to read a review of the book.