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, September 01, 2012

Breathe Owl Breathe to perform at Omega House Blue Moon Benefit Concert Sept. 1

HOUGHTON -- It’s Blue Moon time, and the Omega House will host Breathe Owl Breathe at its 10th Annual Blue Moon Benefit Concert at 7 p.m. TONIGHT, Saturday, Sept. 1, at the Continental Fire Company (CFC), 408 E. Montezuma Avenue in Houghton. The CFC has a night club vibe and state-of-the-art sound equipment and lighting.    

Breathe Owl Breathe performers Micah Middaugh (guitar and vocals), Andrea Moreno Beals (cello and vocals), and Trevor Hobbs (percussion) will bring their unique blend of folk, classic and rock music to the stage.

Doors open at the Continental Fire Company at 7 p.m., and Breathe Owl Breathe will perform at 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 ($15 for seniors). Guests 18-21 will be hand-marked.

All proceeds from the concert benefit Omega House and will help ensure continued delivery of compassionate hospice care. The concert includes a silent auction, where a number of exciting items will be offered.

Join the fun and help support Omega House!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Letter: EPA, deny CR 595, "road to nowhere," permit

Lillian Marks Heldreth of Marquette expresses her concerns about the proposed CR 595, a 21-mile wilderness road intended to connect Rio Tinto-Kennecott's Eagle Mine on the AAA Road near Big Bay with the Humboldt Mill off US 41, during the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Public Hearing on Aug. 28, 2012, in the Great Lakes rooms (filled to capacity with about 400 people) of the University Center at Northern Michigan University in Marquette. (Photo © 2012 and courtesy Jeremiah Eagle Eye)

[Editor's Note: Lillian Marks Heldreth of Marquette read this statement -- addressed to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) during the EPA Public Hearing on County Road 595 -- on Aug. 28, 2012, at Northern Michigan University. It is reprinted here with permission.]

By Lillian Marks Heldreth

MARQUETTE -- The issue here is whether or not we shall sacrifice the integrity and balance of one of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula’s few remaining open and undeveloped wetlands areas to provide a certain degree of convenience for some of the Marquette County’s citizens and to save a great deal of money for a very large, very wealthy corporation.

Personally, I do not relish the idea of dealing with heavy truck traffic on roads that I am accustomed to traveling easily.

However, I like far less the thought that if we build this road, it is being built for one reason only: to provide a haul road for Rio Tinto. Otherwise, it’s a road through nowhere, to nowhere. And it will forever turn the nowhere it bisects into somewhere else where people can run their machines and throw their trash, a place where a solitary hunter can no longer walk in silence.

Worse, it will destroy this fragile and complex ecosystem, which makes up a vital part of what sustains us. Places like this one, relatively wild and undisturbed, are the lungs and kidneys of the organism that, whether some of us realize it or not, supports our life.

We cannot live without such places where organisms both larger than we, such as trees and bears, and smaller than we, such as algae and salamanders, can live undisturbed in that complex web that keeps everything breathing. Such places can protect us against climate change, clean our air, and purify our water.

Pavement cannot do that. Mines cannot do that. Planted stands of only one kind of tree, or acres of cornfields, cannot do that. Only a mixed and healthy system of forest and wetlands can do that.

Yet we keep destroying the living mechanisms that keep us alive, so that we can have more convenience.

You are the Environmental PROTECTION Agency. Please, for the sake of future generations, for life itself, deny this permit, and require that Rio Tinto haul its ores over the available alternative routes that do not require putting a road where we, the people, do not actually need one, and where the life-systems of our peninsula will be irreparably damaged.

Please make your decision on the basis of the sound science you have, and not on popular opinion or popular politics. Thank you.

Lillian Marks Heldreth, Professor Emeritus, Northern Michigan University

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Portage Library "Music on the Menu" to feature Keweenaw Area Jazz Band Aug. 31

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library invites everyone to bring a lunch and enjoy "Music on the Menu," an outdoor series of events on the dock outside the library this summer.

The Keweenaw Area Jazz Band Summer Combo with Pat Valencia will perform from noon to 1 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 31.

KAJB - D.J.M.I.A. is a group of local students who perform jazz with improvisation as a focus. They have learned a completely new set of cool tunes from bossa nova to the blues and will delight the audience with their talent on saxophones, keyboard, guitar, bass and drums.

"This will be the final Music on the Menu performance for the summer," said Chris Alquist, Portage Library Community Programs coordinator. "Many thanks go to all the amazing musicians who have performed and to the wonderful folks who have attended. It's been a great summer!"

Library events are free and everyone is welcome. For more information, please call the library at 482-4570 or visit us at and on Facebook.

Keweenaw Adventure Co. shuttle to run Aug. 31, Sept. 1; volunteers needed for Trails Festival bike races

COPPER HARBOR -- The Keweenaw Adventure Company shuttle for downhill mountain bike runs in Copper Harbor will be running from noon-5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 31, and from 10 a.m. to noon and again from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 1, taking a mid-afternoon break as not to interfere with the Enduro race. $10 special day pass rate for Saturday!

No shuttles on Sunday, Sept. 2, due to the Copper Country Trails Festival all day cross-country mountain bike race. Saturday and Sunday afternoon shuttle services will resume on Saturday, Sept. 8, from noon - 5 p.m. until at least mid-October.

Volunteers still needed for Copper Country Trails Festival

While the big pieces are in place, volunteers are still needed to round things out for the Copper Country Trails Festival mountain bike race Saturday, Sept. 1, and Sunday, Sept. 2, in Copper Harbor. In particular, due to the format change in which the bikers will actually be racing through Copper Harbor as opposed to the parade roll out in the past, a good number of volunteers are needed to help from 1:30 p.m. until approximately 2:15 p.m. at intersections and parking lots in town.

Please email Sam Raymond, race director, at if you can help with any of the following needs:
(28) Course Marshalls (traffic, racer and parking management...most at start, several at the end of the race)
(6) Cookout (2 p.m. - 5 p.m., 3 p.m. - 6 p.m., and 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.)
(6) Beer Garden Security (2:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. - 11 p.m.)
(1) Backboard/Gurney Rescue Team (must be physically fit)
(14) Jr. Trails Festival (12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m., before the XC race!)
(7) Parking/Spectator Access Management for Saturday's Enduro (12:30 p.m. - 4 p.m.)

"Again thanks to everyone who has already committed!" Raymond says. "Hoping more volunteers will come forward to assist in making the Trails Festival another successful event!"

Click here to read about the Copper Country Trails Festival and see the schedule.

Click here to register on line.

Note: The band Steppin' In It will play during the After Party beginning at 11 p.m. Sunday at Zik's Bar.

Community Arts Center to host closing reception for "Art of the Book" exhibit Aug. 31

HANCOCK -- The Copper Country Community Arts Center has been hosting "The Art of the Book, 17 Artists from Minnesota Center for Book Arts" in the Kerredge Gallery through the month of August. A closing reception will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. TOMORROW, Friday, Aug. 31.

Copper Country Community Arts Center staff members, from left, Fred Knoch, Dan Schneider and Bonnie Loukus learn about letterpress printing from Sara Parr, right, artist and Adult Programs director at Minnesota Center for Book Arts in Minneapolis. Sara will be at the Arts Center's Aug. 31 closing reception for "The Art of the Book, 17 Artists from Minnesota Center for Book Arts" along with Richard Stephens, one of the artists in the exhibition. She will give a brief gallery talk. (Photo courtesy Copper Country Community Arts Center)

"The Art of the Book" is a group exhibition of prints and artist books from the current members of the Artist Cooperative at Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA). The seventeen artists represent a variety of artistic perspectives, experience levels, and talents in the work they create at MCBA. The work presented in this new exhibition surveys this range, giving viewers a sense of the creative community that is MCBA.

Employing the traditional crafts of papermaking, letterpress printing and bookbinding as well as digital and modern techniques of publishing, the artists of the MCBA Co-op explore their ideas within the framework of the artist book form. Containing the elements of narrative, sequence, and reproduction of multiple originals, the question "What is an artist book?" has seemingly infinite answers. Each artist answers this question differently, creating a lively conversation through form, technique, and media used.

The Minnesota Center for Book Arts has played an important role for the Community Arts Center as it proceeds with development of its own letterpress studio and book arts programming. Last November CCCAC staff -- Bonnie Loukus, assistant director and Letterpress Studio manager; Cynthia Coté, executive director; Dan Schneider, printer in training and pressman; and Fred Knoch, CCCAC Board member attended an intensive two and a half day tutorial with five MBCA staff. They came back to Hancock invigorated with information and a connection to this nationally renowned organization.

Preparing to ink up type set in a chase on a Vandercook press. (Photo courtesy Copper Country Community Arts Center)

This exhibition is supported be a grant from the Laura Jane Musser Fund and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs with support from the National Endowment for the Arts. The Copper Country Community Arts Center is located at 126 Quincy Street in Hancock. For more information call (906) 482-2333 or email or visit

Monday, August 27, 2012

Keweenaw Heritage Center to host Pipe Organ and Harp Concert Aug. 29 in Calumet

CALUMET -- A Pipe Organ and Harp Concert will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 29, at the Keweenaw Heritage Center at St. Anne's in Calumet.

Christina Harmon, of Dallas, Texas, has been smitten by the Copper Country and its historic organs so is returning again to share her talents. Twice she was the featured artist for Pine Mountain Music Festival organ recitals and has made subsequent trips here to produce a CD on eight of the historic pipe organs of the Keweenaw.

Harmon will be partnering with local harpist, Sidney Butler, principal harpist for the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra. To add a little extra fun to the concert, a 15-minute silent comedy film will be shown: Mind the Baby, Mr. Bean with Christina Harmon providing the organ accompaniment.

The two musicians will perform Aria in Classic Style by Marcel Grandjany (1891-1975), who was a French-American harpist and a master of the instrument.

"I'm thrilled to be playing a piece that was composed especially for harp, not a transcription," Butler says. "Grandjany was known for his giant 'spatula' hands making large chords effortless. There is a left-hand chord in the piece that spans a 12th!"

Tickets are $10 -- benefit concert for maintenance of the historic organ.

"Organ Crawl" to be Aug. 30

From 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the following day, Thursday, Aug. 30, an "Organ Crawl" will take place at 4 venues:  1 p.m., St. Albert the Great Catholic Church in Houghton; 2 p.m.,  Trinity Episcopal Church in Houghton; 3 p.m., First United Methodist Church in Hancock; and 4 p.m. at the home of David and Carol Waisanen in Hancock. Christina Harmon will play and speak about all four historic pipe organs, along with local organists.

Audience members may also try the organs and take a closer look at how they operate.  Admission is $5 to include all 4 venues. However, an RSVP (370-0380) is requested for limited seating at the Waisanen home.

Fifth and Elm Coffee House in Houghton to host Empty Bowls event Sept. 5

By Michele Bourdieu

Outside the Kangas Café on Aug. 7, 2012, Beth Anderson, left, administrative assistant, and Sherry Rivard, regional coordinator, for BHK Great Explorations offer hand-made bowls for donations to support the Empty Bowls Project. The Kangas Café, located in the Jutila Center in Hancock, participated in the project by serving soup for a day to those who bought a $10 bowl, made by local potters and decorated by adults and children in the Calumet Art Center. The proceeds from the bowl sales help fight hunger by supporting local food pantries. On Sept. 5, 2012, the Fifth and Elm Coffee House in Houghton will be the fourth Empty Bowls business supporter to serve the soup for a day. (Photos by Keweenaw Now)

HOUGHTON -- Join the Calumet Art Center and BHK Great Explorations at the Houghton Fifth and Elm Coffee House for the fourth Empty Bowls event from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 5.

Dolores Kangas, owner of Kangas Café and Catering in Hancock, donated soup and bread for a whole day on Aug. 7 to support the Empty Bowls Project. She set up a room near the café for serving and kept it open later after the café closed. "I believe when you're successful at business you should pass it on," Kangas said.

For a $10 donation select a bowl made by local potters and enjoy a meal of soup and bread at the Fifth and Elm Coffee House located at 326 Shelden Ave., Houghton.
100 percent of the proceeds will be donated to local organizations fighting hunger in our communities: CLK Food Pantry, St. Vincent DePaul (Hancock and L’Anse) and the Community Action Food Pantry.

By afternoon on Aug. 7, during the Empty Bowls event at Kangas Café in Hancock, Beth Anderson, administrative assistant for BHK Explorations, said they had collected more than $550 already just that day, selling more than half of the 100 bowls they exhibited for sale.

"There are so many beautiful bowls," Anderson noted. "The hardest part is for people to choose a bowl."

On Aug. 7, Sherry Rivard, regional coordinator for BHK Great Explorations, serves a hearty potato-and-bacon soup and bread to Emma Mackey, 13; Cullen Mackey, 10, and their Mom, Donna Mackey, at the Kangas Café in the Jutila Center in Hancock.

Through BHK Great Explorations, children from third through eighth grade have participated in the project by decorating the bowls. In addition, adults can drop in at the Calumet Art Center and decorate a bowl.

Since April, groups and individuals -- including children accompanied by an adult -- have been coming to the Calumet Art Center to decorate the bowls. Local restaurants and cafés have been invited to serve soup to customers who donate $10 for one of the decorated bowls. The café/restaurant serves the soup in one of their own bowls and the customer takes home the decorated bowl.

In Calumet, the Café Rosetta and the Michigan House each donated soup and bread for a day to support the Empty Bowls Project earlier this summer.

The Empty Bowls Project, an international effort to fight hunger, is a community based fundraiser designed to create awareness of food insecurity and to generate income for local food pantries.

Editor's Note: See our April 30, 2012, article, "Empty Bowls Project to fight hunger kicks off at Calumet Art Center" and visit for details on the project.