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.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club to host moon fire ski Dec. 29

Gromit the Trail Dog spent Christmas in Ironwood. "We stayed at my favorite lodging, Wolverine Village," she said. "We've been here many times before so I must recommend them -- plus they are just across the road from the ski trails." Gromit is looking forward to the moon fire ski at Maasto Hiihto in Hancock this Saturday, Dec. 29. (Photos courtesy Gromit's Trail Mutt Reports, recently updated)

HANCOCK -- Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club’s moon fire ski will be held starting at 6:30 p.m. this Saturday, Dec. 29, at Maasto Hiihto Trails. Come on out for an evening of fun!

Start at Tomasi Trailhead at 6:30 p.m. This is just northwest of Portage Hospital. The trail will be skier-groomed. Ski approximately 3 K. Enjoy a bonfire, roasting sausages, telling truthful stories. Do wear a head lamp in case the clouds obscure the moon.

Sandy Aronson and Gromit enjoy some lake snow coming down on the Big Powderhorn ski slopes.

Sandy, Arlyn and Gromit Aronson say, "We enjoy seeing all trail users attend."

Arlyn reports Maasto Hiihto's base is quite rough and not deep enough to groom, but skiers have been on them, so they are "skier-groomed."

Questions? Call 487-9229 or 370-2911.

Click here to visit Gromit's Trail Mutt Reports for more photos of her recent adventures.

DEQ accepting further public comment on Orvana application for wetlands, inland lakes and streams permit

Editor's Note: This is a letter from Steve Casey, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Upper Peninsula District Supervisor, Water Resources Division, addressed to concerned citizens who sent comments concerning the Orvana Copperwood application for a wetlands, inland lakes and streams permit for their proposed copper mine near Wakefield, Mich. While the deadline for these comments was Dec. 18, 2012, DEQ officials are still accepting further comments. Casey explains why in this letter, sent via email on Friday, Dec. 21.


First and foremost, we did not effectively achieve our goal of effectively reaching beyond the legally required minimum public participation for this application.  Hopefully we’ll "hit the mark" this time by clarifying how to access the complete application, the December mitigation supplement and overviewing a few other issues.

Application Access:

1.We will consider all comments that we receive prior to making a decision on this application. We do not expect to make a decision until January 21, at the soonest. We’ll let you know immediately if our review time is shortened.
2.The entire Part 301/303 application has been available on the DEQ web site since November 30. The December 3 press release was meant to, in part, make it easier for the public to find and review the entire application without having to go through the FOIA process. This is not required by statute, but was done as an outreach. The second page of the November 28 public notice and the second page of the December 3 press release provided a link to the DEQ webpage, from which the entire application could have been found. In hindsight, it was not easy to do so. The most direct way to view the entire application is to go to this link:,4561,7-135-3307_29692_24403-290574--,00.html

This link includes the public notice (which largely consists of documents from the application that were scanned) as well as the entire application. The actual application (not the "poorer quality scanned documents" as John Coleman described them in his email) is found below the "Table of Contents" file about a quarter of the way down this link.  Several of you expressed interest in seeing the more detailed mitigation plan that was submitted earlier this week. We added it to the website yesterday. These files are on the same link and are labeled:

Supplemental Information added 12-20-2012
If you have a problem finding any of this information, please contact me at (906) 346-8535 or or Jim Caron at (906) 875-2071 x.103 or

Hopefully, the information in this email better achieves our goal of providing an effective opportunity for meaningful public comment on this application.

Other Clarifications

Several other clarifications might assist you in providing meaningful comments on this application. Again, these clarifications are based on a quick review of the comments received to date and are meant to help you review the application. Please be assured that we will fully consider all comments that we have received and will receive and that our review is far from complete.

1.The feasibility study for utilizing tailings for mine backfill is found in Appendix E under Tab 5: "Alternative Analysis" on the link described above.
2.The department’s September 5 letter to Orvana on their previous application and their response are attached.* We are reviewing the November 28 application to determine whether it adequately addresses the issues DEQ raised in the September 5 letter. 
3.The department is in the process of imposing additional conditions in the Orvana Part 632 permit to ensure that several concerns address in tribal/public comments are addressed. Please contact me if you would like additional information on that process.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Steve Casey
Upper Peninsula District Supervisor
Water Resources Division
(906) 346-8535

Note: To send electronic comments on this project go to CIWPIS-on-line, type in the file number 12-27-0050-P on the left panel and select "Search."

*Editor's Note: Email Steve Casey at to request copies of these letters.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

"Art from the Kalevala" call for entries for Jan. 8-26, 2013, exhibit

Death and Rebirth, by Paul Osmak. (Photo courtesy Copper Country Community Arts Center)

HANCOCK -- Artwork is being sought for the exhibition "Art from the Kalevala,"which will take place January 8-26, 2013, in the Kerredge Gallery at the Community Arts Center in Hancock.

The Kalevala is an important literary work -- the epic poem of Finland. Its rich imagery provides a hearty topic for visual art, and the exhibit fits into Hancock’s mid-winter festival, Heikinpäivä. An open house reception will be held from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 26, during the Heikinpäivä celebrations. Many people come to Hancock during this time and will enjoy the exhibition’s connection with Finnish culture. Artists may submit up to three pieces, each of which should include the lines from the Kalevala that inspired the work. There is no fee to participate, but a 40 percent commission will be charged on any work sold. If your art is not for sale please note "NFS."

Bear Hunter's Charm, inspired by the Kalevala, Rune 46: The Bear. Fabric, by Cynthia Coté. This piece was part of the January 2012 Kalevala exhibit at the Community Arts Center. See Keweenaw Now's slide show of works in the 2012 exhibit.

Copies of the Kalevala can be found at the local libraries or may be researched on line. Artwork should be delivered to the Arts Center, 126 Quincy St. in Hancock, during the first week of January: from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday-Friday Jan. 2-4, or 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 5.

For more information call: 906.482.2333 or email:

Have a peaceful holiday and New Year!

Keweenaw Now wishes all our readers a peaceful, happy and safe holiday season!

May 2013 be a year of peaceful progress for our endangered planet, brotherhood and sisterhood among diverse nations and cultures, and health and happiness for all of you.

Paloma de la paz. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Sing carols tonight in Hancock

HANCOCK -- Artist Mary Wright invites all to come and sing carols to celebrate the reconstruction of the old sauna at 6 p.m. TONIGHT, Christmas Eve, on Quincy Green on Quincy Street, Hancock (in front of the old middle school).