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Thursday, October 31, 2013

First Friday in Calumet Nov. 1 offers art, crafts, dinner dance, more ...

CALUMET -- First Friday, Nov. 1, in Calumet will offer receptions for new art exhibits, art activities and a dinner dance with live music by the Backroom Boys.

Galerie Bohème to host group exhibit

Detail: Study for Semaphore, by Margo McCafferty. 2013. (Photo courtesy Galerie Bohème)

November's art exhibition at the Galerie Bohème will be a group show with lots of different art works by many local and regional visual practitioners -- including Jerome Ferretti, Joyce Koskenmaki, Margo McCafferty, Eric Munch, Miriam Pickens, Tom Rudd, Jennifer Slack, and Georgi Tsenov. The exhibit will run through Wednesday, Dec. 4.

So stop by between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. for a cup of punch, wine, bread and cheese and lively discussions with other gallery goers on Friday, Nov. 1. Galerie Bohème is at 423 Fifth Street in Calumet.

Winter Hours: Friday and Saturday 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.  For more details call Tom Rudd at 906-369-4087.

Paige Wiard Gallery to exhibit fiber art

Hand-dyed silk scarves by Linda Phillips are one form of fiber art exhibited at the Paige Wiard Gallery. (Photo courtesy Paige Wiard Gallery)

The art work of fiber artists from across Michigan and the country will be featured in the November show, "Fiber on Fifth," at the Paige Wiard Gallery in Calumet. Each artist puts a unique spin on the natural elements of fiber to create pieces of art that express his or her passions. This show reflects all forms of natural fiber, including fiber, paper and wood.

An open reception will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on First Friday, Nov. 1, at Paige Wiard Gallery, 109 Fifth St, Calumet. For more information call 906-337-5970 or email 

Copper Country Associated Artists to offer workshop on greeting cards

On First Friday, Nov. 1, the Copper Country Associated Artists (CCAA) Gallery and Studio will hold a workshop on various techniques for creating your own Holiday Greeting Cards for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The event will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Materials will be provided, but you can bring your own embellishments if you'd like. The CCAA Gallery is located at 205 Fifth St. in Calumet. Call 906-337-1252 for more information. The CCAA Gallery is currently open for winter hours from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, with extended hours on First Friday.

Calumet Art Center: pottery, weaving, more ...

Stop in at the Calumet Art Center for First Friday, Nov. 1, in Calumet. From 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. artists will be demonstrating various techniques in clay including how to throw on the wheel. There will also be demonstrations in glass bead making and weaving on a floor loom and/or twining loom. Perhaps you’d like to try weaving while you’re here.

Find your inspiration while touring the center and open studio featuring looms of all types, lamp work bead station, library and writing studio as well as the clay studio. Learn about the Center's recent classes, projects and upcoming events.

The Calumet Art Center is at 57055 Fifth Street in Calumet. For more information call 906-934-2228.

Omphale to hold Dinner Dance event with Backroom Boys

This First Friday, Nov 1, is also All Saints Day, Toussaint, Ognisanti, Pyhäinpäivä, Todos los Santos -- and the Omphale Gallery and Café is celebrating the day by having a dinner-dance, featuring a five-course feast, then jazz and swing by the Backroom Boys.

Menu for First Friday Feast at the Omphale Gallery and Café. (Menu courtesy Omphale)

Take a look at the menu, then call Julie at (906) 370-8956 or Patrick Curtin at (925) 529-0271 for reservations. Admission $25. Since space is limited, call NOW for a reservation, although, as Julie says, "walk-in patrons are welcome as well."

The Omphale is at 431 5th Street, Calumet.

Portage Library to host Community Poetry Reading Nov. 1

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library invites everyone to gather around the library’s fireplace for a Community Poetry Reading from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 1. Lovers of poetry can read their own poems or poems written by others, or simply enjoy listening to others read.

Library programs are free and open to all. For more information please call the library at 482-4570 or visit

PLEASE NOTE: The Portage Lake District Library will be closed on Monday, Nov. 11, in observance of Veterans' Day.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Thomas Power to speak on economic impacts of renewed Western UP copper mining Nov. 5, 6

At the Lake Superior Binational Forum on Mining Impacts in the Lake Superior Watershed held March 23, 2012, in Ashland, Wis., Thomas Power, noted authority on natural resource and regional economic issues, who was unable to be present, spoke to the audience by phone while presenting his Power Point talk, "Thinking about the Costs and Benefits of Mining: A Holistic Approach." This is one of the slides from that talk. Since then, he has done a detailed report -- specific to the Western Upper Peninsula -- on economic impacts of renewed mining. He will discuss that report during his visit to the Copper Country Nov. 5 and 6, hosted by Friends of the Land of Keweenaw (FOLK). (Photo by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now)

HOUGHTON -- Thomas M. Power, noted authority on natural resource and regional economic issues, will speak at several events in the Copper Country Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 5 and 6.

Power recently completed a report for FOLK (Friends of the Land of Keweenaw) titled "The Economic Impacts of Renewed Copper Mining in the Western Upper Peninsula of Michigan." FOLK is sponsoring his visit.

The purpose of Power’s visit is to discuss the report’s findings and recommendations and to foster a community dialogue about the future development of the Western UP economy. 

According to Linda Rulison, FOLK President, "The significance of Dr. Power’s report and visit for our region cannot be overstated. ‘Economic gardening,’ which the report stresses, holds great promise for a sustainable and ecologically healthy future for our economy. We are grateful to Dr. Power for coming here to present his report’s findings in person."

In his report, Power draws these conclusions:

1.There are significant costs associated with mining activities that tend to offset the positive impacts of the high pay associated with mining jobs.

2.The economies of the Western Upper Peninsula have been successfully transitioning away from past reliance on unstable land-based, extraction-oriented economic activities.

3.The attractiveness of the Western Upper Peninsula’s social and natural amenities is an important part of its economic base and future economic vitality. Economic activities that damage those attractive local characteristics are incompatible with the current sources of economic vitality.

In this video clip from Power's 2012 presentation in Ashland, Wis., he lists environmental costs of mining and points out how destruction of landscape affects the local economy:

In this excerpt from Thomas Power's presentation at the March 23, 2012, Lake Superior Binational Forum in Ashland, Wis., he explains why landscape intensive mining can negatively affect an economy that relies on the attractive natural amenities of the region. (Video by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now)

4.The Upper Peninsula has begun to develop a cluster of entrepreneurial manufacturing firms and other firms built around social and cultural assets, high tech knowledge workers, attractive small urban areas, and high quality recreational amenities.

5.If mining is allowed to resume, it will displace other important economic activities in the region.

In the executive summary of Power's report, he states, "The public should carefully study both the costs and benefits of new metal mining, but from a public interest point of view rather than from a commercial business point of view. If the costs appear to exceed the benefits, the public should reject the proposed mine just as a mining company would if the private costs exceeded the private value produced."*

This slide from Thomas Power's 2012 presentation in Ashland offers ways the public can evaluate the costs and benefits of copper mining. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

The report states the following:

"For all of these reasons, it is our (Power Consulting’s) professional judgment that a return to metal ore mining and processing in the Western Upper Peninsula would damage, not improve, regional economic well-being and vitality. Instead, the economic development focus should continue to be on local 'economic gardening' and further developing the positive economic trends already under way."**

Here is Schedule for Power's visit:

Tuesday, Nov. 5 -- He will spend the day at Michigan Tech meeting with faculty and students.

At 7 p.m. Tuesday, in 135 Fisher Hall, as part of  the Michigan Tech Green Lecture Series, Power will give a talk titled  "The Anomaly of Mining: Treasure and Tears." This lecture is open to the public.

Wednesday, Nov. 6 -- Power will speak in Copper Harbor, Houghton and Baraga.

From 9:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Wednesday, in the Copper Harbor Community Center,  FOLK will host a public reception for Power. He will give a brief talk and respond to questions about his report.

From 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., at the Super 8 Motel in Houghton, FOLK will host another public reception for Power. He will make a brief presentation and lead a discussion about his report.

At 7 p.m. Wednesday evening, at the Ojibwa Senior Citizens Center in Baraga, Power will give the keynote address at the FOLK Annual Meeting, which is open to the public. The title of his talk is "The Western UP Quality of Life Economy: Choices for its Future."  The Annual Meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.

During his Baraga visit, he will meet with members of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) Tribal Council and other tribal members and employees.

Thomas Michael Power received his PhD in Economics from Princeton University. From 1968 to 2008 he taught in the Economics Department at the University of Montana. From 1978 to 2008 he served as Chair of the Economics Department. In 2008 he retired from teaching and administration and now serves as a Research Professor and Professor Emeritus. He is the Principal of Power Consulting.

Power is the author of six books, a dozen and a half book chapters, and numerous articles and reports in the field of Natural Resource and Regional Economics and the relationship between those two fields. He has regularly testified before state and federal regulatory agencies.

Power's report is one of a series of action research projects that FOLK is sponsoring under its grassroots Mining Education and Citizen Empowerment Campaign. The Campaign’s focus is on citizens and private and public institutions working together to assess the risks and benefits of a renewal of mining in our region.***

* Click here to read the Executive Summary of Power's report.

** Click here to read the full report.

*** Learn more on FOLK's Mining Education and Empowerment Web site.

All invited to "Last Trick-or-Treat with Sue Haralson" Oct. 31 at HKCD office

HOUGHTON -- A "Last Trick-or-Treat with Sue Haralson" Open House will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. TOMORROW, Thursday, Oct. 31, at the Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District (HKCD) Office, 711 W. Lakeshore Drive, Houghton.

Haralson, HKCD administrator, is retiring after 10 years of dedicated service. Everyone is welcome to stop by the new HKCD office and wish Sue well as she begins retirement.

The event is free and open to the public.

(Inset: Photo of Sue Haralson courtesy Gina Nicholas)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Hancock Fire Department's Mark Dennis to repeat presentation on historic fires; Fire Department's Pancake Breakfast funds projects

By Michele Bourdieu

Hancock Fire Department Member Mark Dennis, seated right, volunteers at the ticket table during the Oct. 26, 2013, Hancock Fire Department Pancake and French Toast Breakfast. Dennis will offer a repeat of his Hancock Sesquicentennial presentation, "Historic Fires of Hancock, a Photo History," on Wednesday, Oct. 30. Also pictured at the table are Jo Ann Masters, whose husband, Dave Masters, is the longest serving Hancock Fire Department member (37 years), and Phil Verville, a member for 21 years, who started the Pancake Breakfast. At left Hancock resident Bob Mikesch buys a ticket. At far right is Keweenaw Now's Gustavo Bourdieu. (Photos by Keweenaw Now)

HANCOCK -- Mark Dennis, Hancock Fire Department member, will again present "Historic Fires of Hancock, a Photo History," a Hancock Sesquicentennial Event, at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 30, at the City of Hancock Fire Hall, 900 Ethel Avenue.

The presentation is being repeated because of popular demand.

Dennis was one of many Hancock Fire Department members who volunteered at the 20th Annual Hancock Fire Department Pancake and French Toast Breakfast on Saturday, Oct. 26, at the Hancock American Legion. He said the annual fundraiser supports various Fire Department functions, such as Fire Prevention Week. Recently the Department was able to purchase $10,000-worth of equipment thanks to fundraising, "saving the taxpayers money," he noted.

"We also sponsor a kids' hockey team -- the 'mites,'" Dennis added.

At about 10 a.m. on Oct. 26, about 300 people fill the American Legion hall in Hancock to enjoy the Hancock Fire Department's 20th Annual Pancake and French Toast Breakfast. Volunteers estimated about 550 people would attend the event by noon.

More photos ...

Hancock Fire Chief Joe Neher pauses from his volunteer work in the kitchen for a photo during the Oct. 26 Pancake Breakfast.

Supporting Fire Chief Neher as breakfast volunteers are his wife, Dawn Neher, center,  and her daughter Jordyn, foreground. Also volunteering are Kayla Tchida, left, and (background at right) Fire Department member Joe Pizzi, Sr. (Joe Pizzi, Jr., was working in the kitchen).

Among the pancake customers are two City Councilors, from right, John Slivon and John Haessler, along with Ann Pace (Slivon's wife) -- who were chatting about Hancock history and the Hancock Sesquicentennial book, to which Haessler, Sesquicentennial Committee chairman, contributed significantly.

Visit the City of Hancock Web site to learn more about the Sesquicentennial.

Eagle Mine continues community forums, scorecard voting

MARQUETTE -- Eagle Mine is holding community forums in Marquette and Baraga Counties this week and next week.

The forums are designed to update community members on the progress at Eagle Mine, which is on schedule to start production in late 2014. At the forums you’ll have the opportunity to talk with Eagle representatives from across the business.

"We encourage residents to come out and ask questions about our operations, and to participate in our Community Scorecard," says Dan Blondeau, advisor in communication and media relations for Eagle Mine.

All forums are from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Remaining dates are as follows:

Monday, Oct. 28, Marquette Hampton Inn (Tonight)

Tuesday, Oct. 29, Humboldt Township Hall

Wednesday, Nov. 6, L'Anse American Legion

Thursday, Nov. 7, Michigamme Township Hall

For more details on these events, please click here.

Editor's Note: Click here for Keweenaw Now's article and videos on the May 15, 2013, community forum held in L'Anse. Since then ownership of Eagle Mine was transferred from Rio Tinto to Lundin Mining Co.

Health Dept., League of Women Voters to offer public meetings on Affordable Care Act Oct. 28, 29

HOUGHTON -- Understanding the Affordable Care Act, also know as Obamacare is the topic of two  public meetings sponsored by the League of Women Voters of the Copper Country and the Western UP Health Department. Answers to questions such as who is eligible, what is covered, what does it cost and how to enroll will be addressed.

Meetings will be at CLK High School Commons at 7 p.m. TONIGHT, Monday, Oct. 28, and at Houghton High School Multi-purpose room, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29.

Ray Sharp, manager of community planning and preparedness at Western U.P. Health Department, will give an overview of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), explain the new health insurance plans available through the ACA Marketplace and Medicaid Expansion, and demonstrate step-by-step how to enroll for coverage at the web site.

Sharp will also answer questions on all aspects of the new law, including the various qualified health plans available in our area, subsidies that will lower the cost of insurance for many Copper Country residents, and tax penalties for non-participation.

Western U.P. Health Department is a federally designated Certified Application Counselor agency, which means that people can contact the health department office in Hancock at 482-7382 to speak to an application counselor or to make an appointment for enrollment assistance.

The meeting is free and open to the public.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Photos: Michigan Tech students volunteer for "Make a Difference Day" projects in Hancock

HANCOCK -- Michigan Tech student groups volunteered for several "Make a Difference Day" projects in Hancock on Saturday, Oct. 26. Despite the cold temperatures and a fairly windy day, they seemed to enjoy the fresh air and exercise -- cleaning up leaves, debris and trash in several neighborhoods and even helping Gromit the Trail Mutt and her crew with bridge repair on Maasto Hiihto Trails.

Proudly displaying their bags of trash and leaves collected along White Street and Shafter Street in Hancock are these Michigan Tech students -- members of the National Society of Black Engineers, the Society of African American Men, the Society of Intellectual Sisters, and the African Students' Association. (Photos by Keweenaw Now, unless otherwise indicated)

Alpha Gamma Delta members work on their leaf-raking project along Hancock Street.

Alpha Gamma Delta members and friends pause for a photo during their "Make a Difference Day" project.

Three more members of Alpha Gamma Delta display their bag of leaves collected near the Holiday Station on Hancock Street. Pictured here are, from left, Nicole Intzi (environmental engineering), Brianne Anderson (mechanical engineering) and Sara Schram (scientific and technical communication).

Gromit the Trail Mutt was delighted to have a group of Sigma Tau Gamma students to help with trail work at Maasto Hiihto for "Make a Difference Day" Saturday. "We couldn't have got this done without their help!" she writes on her blog. For more of Gromit's photos visit