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Friday, February 22, 2013

Northern Wisconsin officials unite in defense of water

By Rebecca Kemble and Barbara With
Posted Feb. 21, 2013, on the Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative Web site.

MADISON, WIS. -- In a strong statement of unity, elected officials from Ashland and Bayfield Counties traveled to Madison for the Superior Days lobbying effort and a press conference concerning the new mining bill being rushed through the legislature next week.

Elected officials from Northern Wisconsin hold a press conference at the Capitol in Madison on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013. (Photo © and courtesy Rebecca Kemble. Reprinted with permission.)

Bayfield Mayor Larry McDonald stood up for the water saying, "I am not against mining. I am against anything that will damage Lake Superior. AB1/SB1 is designed to pollute the water."

Washburn, Wis. Mayor Scott Griffiths speaks against the potential Wisconsin mining bill, AB1/SB1, during the Superior Days lobbying effort in Madison earlier this week. (Photo © and courtesy Rebecca Kemble. Reprinted with permission.)

Washburn Mayor Scott Griffiths stressed that the bill will affect more than just northern Wisconsin and the Penokee Hills.

"This legislation, if passed, sets a dangerous precedent," he said. "It demonstrates that an out-of-state company can come in and set the rules to maximize their profits and minimize their liabilities."

Griffiths noted the reason for the rush through the legislature: "The more legislators learn about this particular piece of legislation and the consequences of the bill, the more resistance there is to pass it."...Read the rest of this article on the Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative Web site.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Finlandia Gallery to host International School of Art and Design Faculty Exhibit Feb. 21 - Mar. 16

HANCOCK -- Finlandia University’s International School of Art and Design will present an exhibit of work by its faculty at the Finlandia University Gallery, located in the Finnish American Heritage Center (FAHC), Hancock, Feb. 21 to March 16, 2013.

"Early Afternoon" by Joyce Koskenmaki, Finlandia University emeritus professor of art. Colored pencil and crayon on watercolor marks. (Photos courtesy Finlandia University)

An opening reception for the artists will take place at the gallery from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. TONIGHT, Thursday, Feb. 21, The reception is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

This year’s exhibit features the work of Jon Brookhouse, Colleen Carroll, Cynthia Coté, Phyllis Fredendall, Robert Grame, Kenyon Hansen, Josh Jaehnig, Harriet King, Joyce Koskenmaki, Erica Lord, Rick Loduha, and Carrice Chardin McKinstry. Media include ceramics, interdisciplinary sustainable design, collage and assemblage, fiber art, graphic design, painting and drawing, and interactive media.

"This diverse group of teachers has so much to offer young artists," notes gallery director Carrie Flaspohler. "Finlandia students are learning from professional artists, some of whom have practiced their art for over 30 years, some who have recently completed graduate school and are actively pursuing gallery representation."

Professor of fiber and fashion design Phyllis Fredendall, who recently presented a solo retrospective of her work at Finlandia’s Reflection Gallery, has created new work for the faculty exhibit. In her current work, Fredendall explores memory.

"My work explores the slipperiness of memory, paying homage to family elders in wool and silk through the process of hand felting," says Fredendall.

Associate professor of graphic design Robert Grame, who joined the art and design faculty in August 2011, has been redesigning the curriculum of the graphic design concentration. He has exhibited his work nationally and internationally -- in China, Korea, Austria, and Germany.

"I believe strongly in the social and ethical responsibility of design," Grame writes in his artist's statement. "My experimental / expressionistic efforts are focused upon creating statements regarding typography, rhetoric, and elevating the role of design. Personal experimentation has the innate ability for me to feed a network of ideas and aspects that I work with in my professional activities, making my industry efforts much stronger and more deeply informed."

Associate professor of integrated design Rick Loduha will exhibit work from throughout his design career.

Loduha believes that the design challenge of the future will be to find holistic well-being that is less hierarchical, less individualistic and materialistic, and less wasteful, and by virtue of all these, less self-destructive.

"Strong Medicine," mixed media, by Rick Loduha, Fnlandia associate professor of integrated design.

"Our next challenge as a culture is the mindful remediation of what we have despoiled," Loduha says.

Emeritus professor of ceramics Jon Brookhouse will display ceramic pieces created in his studio in Tapiola, Mich.

Emeritus professor of art Joyce Koskenmaki has returned to Finlandia this year to work with the university’s painting and drawing students. In her recent work, Koskenmaki has moved away from creating art that expresses concrete ideas and has begun to work more intuitively.

"Working in abstraction allows me to express what can’t be put into words," Koskenmaki says. "It allows me to deepen my expression and to access feelings and inner states which may have been hidden from my consciousness. I think turning back to abstraction has come with getting older, needing to get past ideas and into just being."

Adjunct instructor Cynthia Coté, also the executive director of the Copper Country Community Art Center, Hancock, teaches a class in art business at Finlandia. Coté will display a mixed media collage and assemblage.

"My work is about saving, remembering, and letting go," notes Coté. "Caught in the transitory nature of life, I am eternally processing the past, doing my best to honor the present and wondering about the future. All of the work that I do involves repetition and introspection. It is quiet when I work and the work is quiet. Selecting, sorting and folding paper, collecting words, gluing, and tying knots -- the repetition in each step is important. All the while, I am interpreting the circumstances of my life."

International School of Art and Design alumnus Kenyon Hansen has returned to Finlandia to teach ceramic design. Hansen, who completed his B.F.A. at Finlandia in 2005, served as a long term resident at the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts, Helena, Mont., and as a studio assistant at the Penland (North Carolina) School of Crafts.

Ceramic teapots by International School of Art and Design alumnus and Finlandia University adjunct instructor Kenyon Hansen.

A recent addition to Finlandia’s faculty, adjunct instructor Carrice Chardin McKinstry ('08), will exhibit work from her installation, "In the Crucible of the Mind: Eye for an I for an Eye," an interactive installation of which the viewer is an integral part.

"I work intuitively to set up dramatic installations using light and space, involving a sculptural vocabulary that welcomes debate," explains McKinstry. "Each viewer’s history and perspective are integral elements in the interpretation of my work."

Adjunct instructors Colleen Carroll ('09), Josh Jaehnig ('11), Harriet King, and Erica Lord will also display their work.

The Finlandia University Gallery is in the Finnish American Heritage Center, 435 Quincy Street, Hancock. Gallery hours are Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Thursday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., or by appointment. Please call 906-487-7500 for more information. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Portage Library hosts "Reading Room," an installation by Cynthia Coté, through March 4

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library is hosting an exhibit titled "Reading Room," an installation by Cynthia Coté, through March 4, 2013.

These hand made books are part of Cynthia Coté's installation, "Reading Room," on exhibit at Portage Lake District Library. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

In her artist's statement, Coté, Copper Country Community Arts Center executive director, says what inspired her to do the installation:

"I was first inspired to make my non-traditional hand made books with the end of the library card catalog system. I was saddened when card catalogs went digital. No more touching all the cards with the special information and librarians' notations to find the book you were looking for -- or even to pause on the card representing the card you were not looking for. (A librarian I met from Michigan State University called this 'field grazing')," she writes.

Chris Alquist, Portage Lake District Library activities coordinator, admires a miniature card catalog in Cynthia Coté's installation, "Reading Room." (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

"So I started making them, make believe," Coté continues. "I invite you to take a moment to read my books. They are written using found words and composed before assembly to be read from any direction -- up, down, left to right, or vice versa."

This exhibit is a collaboration between the Copper Country Community Arts Council and the Portage Lake District Library.

Northern Michigan University to host community forum on conservation, local sustainability Feb. 21-22

MARQUETTE -- A community forum about conservation and local sustainability will be held this Thursday and Friday, Feb. 21-22, at Northern Michigan University in Marquette.

All events will be in the Mead Auditorium, 2701 West Science. The forum is free and open to the public. It is presented by the NMU Earth, Environmental and Geographical Sciences Department.

Curt Meine, author of Aldo Leopold: His Life and Work, will give a presentation on connecting conservation efforts across landscapes at 7:30 p.m.Thursday, Feb. 21. Meine is also a senior member of the Aldo Leopold Foundation.

On Friday, Feb. 22, there will be a light breakfast at 8:30 a.m. and a screening of Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time, at 9 a.m., followed by a community panel discussion on local sustainability efforts from 10:30 a.m. to noon.

The overarching question is, "What might a land ethic in our community entail?" The panelists, representing various perspectives, include Karen Bacula, environmental science teacher, Marquette Senior High School; Aimée Cree Dunn, contingent instructor, NMU Center for Native American Studies; John Frye, NMU undergraduate and co-owner of Dancing Crane Farm; Jessica Koski, mining technical assistant, Natural Resources Department, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community; Curt Meine, Aldo Leopold Foundation; Jessica Thompson, assistant professor, NMU Department of Communication and Performance Studies.

The audience will first hear from each panelist on his/her thoughts about the Leopold movie, but the bigger objective is to engage audience members in a meaningful conversation of conservation and sustainability today. For details, call 906-227-2587 or email Teresa Bertossi at

Green Film on global water crisis to be shown Feb. 21 at Michigan Tech

HOUGHTON -- Michigan Tech's Green Film Series continues on one Thursday a month through May in the Atrium and G002 Hesterberg Hall, Michigan Tech Forestry Building. Films begin at 7 p.m. and are followed by coffee, dessert, and facilitated discussion until 8:30 p.m.
Cost: Free, $3 suggested donation

The next film, Last Call at the Oasis (108 min.), will be shown Thursday, Feb. 21. Be it through consumption or contamination, water is becoming more scarce globally, including in the United States. The global water crisis will be the central issue facing our world this century. We can manage this problem, but only if we are willing to act now. Last Call at the Oasis is a powerful new documentary that shatters myths behind our most precious resource. This film exposes defects in the current system, shows communities already struggling with its ill-effects and highlights individuals championing revolutionary solutions during the global water crisis. Firmly establishing the global water crisis as the central issue facing our world this century, the film posits that we can manage this problem if we act now.

The discussion Facilitator will be Alex Mayer, Michigan Tech professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Mayer’s teaching and research are directed towards human-environment interactions, water resources management, watershed management and modeling, and groundwater flow, transport, and remediation. His work focuses on the Great Lakes and Mexico.

Click here to see the schedule of green films.

Community group seeks responses to survey on potential charter school

HOUGHTON -- The Community Alliance for Progressive Education (CAPE) is a group of parents and other community members in Houghton County who are working to broaden educational opportunities for the children in the local community. The group is in the process of creating a new public charter school that will offer children a progressive, child-centered learning experience.

They have created a 5-10 minute survey to collect other parents' opinions on the educational options that are available in Houghton County now. They also want to measure interest in the features that will make the new school different from others in the area.

All surveys that are completed by the end of February will be entered into a random drawing for two $25 Econofoods gift cards.

To respond to the survey, please go to:

For statistically relevant results, CAPE needs over 352 respondents.

More information about CAPE and the plans for the new school can be found on their website, and their Facebook page,

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club to meet Feb. 20 at Hancock Chalet

HANCOCK -- Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club's monthly meeting will take place at 7 p.m. this Wednesday, Feb.20, at the Hancock chalet. UPDATE: If the chalet is not plowed/shoveled out the meeting will be at John Diebel's house, 611 Lake Ave, Hancock. Go behind McGann's, across the snowmoblile trail, down the hill and his house is the corner house. All are welcome to attend. Questions? Call Jay Green at 906-487-5411 or email him at

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Wolf Management Advisory Council to meet Feb. 19 in St. Ignace

ST. IGNACE, MICH. -- Michigan’s Wolf Management Advisory Council (WMAC) will meet from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, at the Little Bear Arena, located at 275 Marquette St. in St. Ignace.

The Wolf Management Advisory Council (previously known as the Wolf Forum) was codified under a law passed by the Legislature in December 2012 that reclassified wolves as a game species (PA 520) and directed the WMAC to report its recommendations on wolf management annually to the Legislature and the Natural Resources Commission (NRC). The NRC has the authority to determine whether public harvest of wolves should be allowed and to regulate season structure and method of harvest.

The WMAC includes members from a diverse group of organizations with an interest in wolves and wolf management, including hunting, conservation, tribal government, agriculture and animal advocacy.

At the Feb. 19 meeting, staff from the Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Division will gather input from council members regarding future wolf management activities, including the use of hunting to manage and resolve conflict issues. The 2008 Wolf Management Plan will serve as the guide for these discussions.

Members of the public are welcome to observe the council’s discussions and will have the opportunity to provide written comments at the meeting. The DNR will also host a series of public meetings around the state in March to provide information on wolf management and receive public input regarding the public harvest of wolves. Dates and locations of those meetings will be widely publicized once determined.

For more information about the WMAC meeting, contact the council’s DNR liaison Adam Bump at 517-373-1263. To learn more about Michigan's wolf population and Wolf Management Plan, visit