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, July 06, 2013

Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative: Citizens testify for strong mining ordinance

By Rebecca Kemble
Posted July 5, 2013  on Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative
Reprinted in part with permission

HURLEY, WIS. -- On July 1, 2013, over a hundred people attended the Iron County (Wisconsin) Zoning Committee’s public hearing on a proposed mining ordinance in Hurley, Wisconsin.

Ashland County Supervisor Charles Ortman signs up to speak during the July 1, 2013, Iron County, Wis., public hearing on a proposed mining ordinance in Hurley, Wis. (Photo © and courtesy Rebecca Kemble)

Twenty-three of the twenty-eight people who testified urged the Committee to develop an ordinance containing the strongest possible protections for public health, safety and shared natural resources.

Wisconsin’s new mining law prohibits the state’s Department of Natural Resources from issuing stop orders if mining operations threaten public health, safety or the environment. The law also states that "adverse impacts to wetlands are presumed to be necessary in bulk sampling and mining activities." Opponents of the law argued that statement gives mining companies a blank check to pollute.

With the recent gutting of environmental regulations relating to mining in state law, it is now up to municipal and county governments to protect the health, safety and air and water quality of their communities.

Last month Ashland County enacted a local ordinance regulating any potential mining activities. Administrators and elected officials in neighboring Iron County then realized that they needed one too. That’s because in the absence of a zoning regulation specifically permitting it, mining would be considered an illegal activity. Iron County currently has no provisions for metallic mining in their zoning code.

Click here to read the rest of this article and see several video clips of citizens' testimonies at this July 1 public hearing.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Appleseed Collective to perform at Orpheum Theater July 5

HANCOCK -- The Appleseed Collective will perform  Gypsy Jazz, Bluegrass, Swing, Dixieland, Jugband, Appalachian Porch Music and more beginning at 8 p.m. Friday, July 5, at the Orpheum Theater in Hancock.

"The Appleseeds always offer one of the best shows you'll ever see every time they visit the Orpheum," says Mike Shupe, Orpheum owner. "Complete with Fiddle, Doghouse Bass, Washboard, Banjo, and a National Steel Guitar for the perfect hint of country and blues. And don't forget the angelic voices and harmonies!"

Doors open at 7:30, so come early to get the perfect table! Admission is only $10 ($8 for students).

Click here to read about Appleseed Collective Music.

Enjoy Old Time Music in Eagle Harbor July 6, Aug. 10

EAGLE HARBOR -- David Owens, the Nostalgia DJ, will play old time popular songs from his collection of 1950s, '40s, '30s and '20s original recordings at 7 p.m. on two coming Saturdays -- July 6 and August 10 -- at the Eagle Harbor Community Building in Eagle Harbor, Mich.*

Dance, sing along, reminisce and make requests for your favorites -- from Glenn Miller to Perry Como, Hank Williams, the Weavers, Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney, Fats Domino, the Platters, the Everly Brothers and more!

Admission is free, but bring snacks and drinks. For more information call David Owens at 906-289-4404 or email

*Saturday, Aug. 10, is also the first day of the two-day Eagle Harbor Art Fair. Enjoy the Fair and listen or dance to music in the evening!

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Algomah Acres Honey House to host Mid-Summer Artist Market July 6 in Greenland

GREENLAND, MICH. -- Algomah Acres Honey House will host the Third Annual Mid-Summer Artist Market from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (EDT) on Saturday, July 6, 2013, at 611 Plank Rd. in Greenland, Mich.

Hand-made honey bunnies will be among the crafts for sale at the Algomah Acres Honey House Mid-Summer Artist Market July 6 in Greenland, Mich. (Photo courtesy Algomah Acres Honey House)

Enjoy a celebration of local creativity, live music, art, crafts, edibles and lunch! Greenland’s Independence Day festivities will be going on all day including fun run, parade, and fireworks.

15 vendors will be selling hand made art, crafts, body products, and edibles -- including local honey, jewelry, woven rugs, upcycled art, woodworking, health products, paintings, and garments.

Free mead tastings will be given throughout the day, with mead sales on site.

See more details at the Algomah Acres Facebook event page. Keep in touch by "liking" the Facebook page or joining the e-mail list at

First Friday in Calumet to feature open house, art, music, more ...

CALUMET -- First Friday in Calumet, July 5, will offer a ribbon cutting and open house for a new business, art exhibits and activities in the galleries, and music for listening and dancing.

Smythtype Design to open July 5 in Calumet

Laura Smyth, proprietor of Smythtype Design, cordially invites the public to attend a ribbon cutting, open house and art show as part of Calumet’s First Friday Celebration TOMORROW, July 5, 2013. The ribbon cutting, welcoming Smythtype Design to downtown Calumet, will be at 1:30 p.m., followed by an open house and art show from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., at 104 Fifth St., Suite A, upstairs and to the right, above Cafe Rosetta.

The show will display the work of Jack Oyler and feature publications by Thimbleberry Press and Mudminnow Press, including Stars in the Water, three magical tales of nature and the North Woods for readers of all ages.

Photo: Stars in the Water, published by Mudminnow Press, is a collaboration of four Copper Country artists: Lesley DuTemple (author), Jack Oyler (illustrator), Laura Smyth (designer), and Joe Kirkish (photographer). (Book  cover image courtesy Main Street Calumet.)

Button, button, who's got the button?

First Friday, July 5, at the Copper Country Associated Artists will be an exploration in embellishing with buttons. Participants will use a wooden base to create a pin embellished with buttons. Buttons of all kinds will be provided, but participants are encouraged to bring their own as well. These pins can also be painted or decorated with fabric.

The workshop will run from 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., and participants can join any time during the evening. The gallery is also featuring new large prints by photographer Mark Upton. Be sure to take a look at these while you're visiting. For more information, call 906-337-1252.

Galerie Bohème to exhibit Artwork by Jerome Ferretti and J. D. Slack

An opening reception for Galerie Bohème's July exhibit, Artwork by Jerome Ferretti and J. D. Slack, will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on First Friday, July 5, in the gallery at 423 Fifth Street, Calumet.

Artwork by Jerome Ferretti, left, and J. D. Slack, right: Ferretti's Dogfight, enamel on panel, and Slack's House and Tree: For Egon Schiele, pastel. (Image courtesy Galerie Bohème)

Each of Jennifer Slack's haunting new pastels pays homage to a noted artist, while artworks from Jerome Ferretti give meaning to Detroit, present time.

Other than First Friday, Galerie Bohème hours are 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information call Tom Rudd at 906-369-4086.

Backroom Boys to play jazz, swing at Carmelita's

The Backroom Boys -- trio version -- will be playing that good old traditional jazz and swing from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. First Friday on the patio at Carmelita's on Oak Street.

Omphale Gallery and Café to offer fine cuisine, art, music July 5

The Omphale Gallery and Café will host super nova outlaw ART by WADE WAINIO a.k.a. GRANDPA HELICOPTER from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on First Friday, July 5.

Experience retrospective art, fine cuisine and music by WADE with classical guest star ROBIN OYE.

Learn more by visiting the Omphale on Facebook.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative: Penokee Hills Education Project takes anti-mining message to Hurley, Wis.

By Rebecca Kemble
Posted July 3, 2013, on Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative
Reprinted in part with permission

Vehicles block the sidewalk in front of GTac offices in downtown Hurley, Wis. (Photo © and courtesy Rebecca Kemble)

HURLEY, WIS. -- On Monday, July 1, 2013, members of the Penokee Hills Education Project and their supporters held a press conference in downtown Hurley, Wisconsin.

The event was scheduled an hour and a half before the Iron County Zoning Committee’s public hearing on a proposed mining ordinance. It was slated to take place on the sidewalk in front of the offices of Gogebic Taconite (GTac), a company with plans to obliterate the Penokee Hills and extract low-grade iron ore.

When organizers arrived, they found that the sidewalk had been blocked by a large pick up truck and an RV.

The crowd of fifty people moved across the street to a vacant lot between two local bars. Several locals attempted to disrupt the news event by standing outside the Krash Inn and shouting disparaging comments, but they were largely ignored.

Hurley police officers patrolled the area in squad cars and on foot. Chief Daniel Erspamer was on hand to advise people not to block traffic or the sidewalks. ...

Click here to read the rest of this article and see videos of speeches by people who spoke about the importance of protecting the freshwater resources in the area with strong local ordinances, and against the bullying tactics of GTac and their supporters.

Horsetail Scramble run/walk to be held at Churning Rapids Trails July 4

HANCOCK -- The 16th Annual Horsetail Scramble will be held at Churning Rapids Trails, beginning at 1 p.m. with a 10 k Trail Run and a 5 k Fitness Walk on Thursday, July 4. Registration is on site from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m.

Sue Ellen Kingsley and Terry Kinzel watch for runners and walkers at the finish line for the July 4, 2012, Horsetail Scramble at Churning Rapids Trails. The event will be held again tomorrow, July 4, 2013, to celebrate the couple's 20th anniversary. (Photos by Keweenaw Now)

The family-friendly event is held at the home of Terry Kinzel and Sue Ellen Kingsley, 53044 Hwy M203, 4.5 miles north of Hancock Beach.

The Horsetail Scramble will be followed by the Heart and Hands of the Keweenaw award at 2:30 p.m. and a potluck feast at 3 p.m. Corn, strawberries (maybe), and some beverages will be provided. Bring a dish to share, your own place setting and your friends.

The pie-eating contest is a favorite activity for the young and the young-at-heart following the feast.

Activities for kids (young and old) follow the feast.

Michigan Tech, El Salvador university researchers work to save lives

By Marcia Goodrich, Michigan Tech Magazine Editor
Posted July 2, 2013, on Michigan Tech News
Reprinted in part with permission

In November 2009, the muddy north slopes of San Vicente volcano gave way, destroying communities and killing hundreds. Michigan Tech and University of El Salvador scientists are working together to help mitigate future disasters. (Photo © Fredy Cruz and courtesy Michigan Tech University)

HOUGHTON -- On Nov. 9, 2009, Hurricane Ida dumped 18 inches of rain on the northern slopes of the extinct San Vicente volcano. The already rain-soaked mountain could hold no more and gave way.

The massive mud and debris flows that followed killed nearly 400 people. Since then, researchers from Michigan Technological University and the University of El Salvador - Multidisciplinary Faculty of the Central Region, San Vicente, have been working together to mitigate the human toll in future catastrophes.

Fredy Cruz, director of graduate studies and an agronomy professor at the San Vicente campus, came to Houghton last week to collaborate with Michigan Tech scientists and attend a workshop on remote sensing and hazard modeling.

"We’re working to identify areas that are susceptible to landslides and flooding, and we’re also trying to identify those communities that are the most vulnerable, not just geographically, but also economically," he said. ... Click here to read the whole story and see more photos on Michigan Tech News.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

OPINION: More on wolf regulations

By Jack Parker *

The original title of this article was simply "MORON wolf regulations," but the Editor considered that to be indelicate so we modified it, thus illustrating the Power of the Press.

That original title wasn’t a typo. Just a spontaneous comment.

But first here’s a thank you for Nancy Warren and her tireless efforts to keep us informed about wolves and the attempts to "manage" them. Her latest contribution in Keweenaw Now, concerning the wolf depredations described in a Detroit Free Press article that is no longer available on line, should pave the way to better legislation. At the same time I thank her for bringing to us Rory Linnane’s similar observations from the Wisconsin front.**

The time has come, as they used to say, to stop playing this silly political game and to throw the bastards out of office, then to replace them with honest individuals. I will expand upon that proposal very soon -- before they do more damage.

Google, always sniffing the wind, has acknowledged the commercial connections already by inserting an ad on my screen, as follows: "A Thermal Rifle 'Scope for $3995." The connections are that obvious.

I find no fault with Nancy’s opinion but would like to reinforce it. If anything she is too gentle with the brutal facts. I quote from her and the DNR that during the period 2010-2012 48 percent of the UP depredations occurred on one farm, the John Koski farm near Matchwood.

If you can find the report by specialist Brian Roell you will see that the depredations have been going on for years, and DNR knows it and has supported it and, according to Mr Koski, who holds the record, he has had more than 119 cattle killed or injured by wolves in the past three years. Government-paid trappers and shooters "have killed dozens of the wolves." You must agree that lethal measures have done little to discourage the wolves -- explained by a photograph in the FREEP (Detroit Free Press) article showing cattle carcasses left in the field for months -- an obvious invitation to the feast. That is illegal.

I think that you will come away from that report, (which Nancy paid for, thru the DEQ FOIA program) understanding that Brian wrote a good, honest report but that his "superiors" hid it, covered it up -- and used the staged depredations for their own evil political purposes -- to arouse public fears and hatred against the critters -- and to promote wolf hunting. You will see that paying people to shoot wolves did not stop the predation.

So the Koski farm shoots a big hole in the promoters’ arguments. Forty eight percent of them. Not done yet. Another large bunch of complaints, favored especially by Mr. Casperson, came from around Ironwood. The wolves are not to be faulted there either. They were lured into the city by well-meaning folks who fed the deer -- which were followed by their natural predator. I have heard of no tickets for baiting. How many wolves were shot because of those misdeeds? More than a dozen.

Dog depredation, incorrectly reported to have taken place "in Atlantic Mine," was the other big headline. However, very little was said about two of the dogs running loose in wolf habitat.

That’s enough for now, I think. It serves to illustrate the lying tactics used to support the plans of the wolf hunters and those who would exploit and profit by it -- and the fact that they are not suited for public office.

Next I would like to examine how much expertise has gone into Michigan wolf management. The legislators, from the governor on down, wouldn’t know a wolf for sure if attacked by a large sharp-eared, bushy-tailed canine, and are far from familiar with world-wide research literature. Am sure that a four-hour written test could be arranged before hiring. A good place to start would be the NRC (Natural Resources Commission) -- a seven-piece sample. A sample question: How many Michigan wolves are killed illegally every year? Don’t forget those which were targeted after Mr K failed to protect his cattle.

Surely we should also examine the mind set of persons who kill for fun, such as those who consider that baiting and trapping followed by gang-style execution constitutes "sport." They should be locked up. That will come later.

Editor's Notes:

 * Keweenaw Now guest author Jack Parker is from Toivola, Michigan.

** This article is a commentary on our June 27, 2013, article, "Opinion: Nearly half of wolf depredations attributed to one farm with poor animal husbandry practices," by Nancy Warren, National Wolfwatcher Coalition Great Lakes regional director.