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Friday, November 08, 2013

Unitarian Universalists mining education series to continue with talk by Keweenaw Copper's Ross Grunwald Nov. 10; video report: mining impacts to Ojibwa land, culture

By Michele Bourdieu
With information from the Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and videos by Allan Baker

During his presentation on the Keweenaw Copper exploration project to members of the Keweenaw Peninsula Chamber of Commerce in February 2012, Ross Grunwald -- now vice president of Highland Copper Company and project manager/vice president of Keweenaw Copper Company -- fields questions from the audience. Also pictured is Paul Lehto (seated, center), Calumet Township supervisor. (Keweenaw Now file photo by Allan Baker)*

HOUGHTON -- Continuing its mining education series, the Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (KUUF) will host Ross Grunwald, vice president - exploration of Highland Copper Company and project manager/vice president of Keweenaw Copper Company, at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 10, in the community conference room at the BHK Center, Waterworks St. entrance, Houghton.

Grunwald will explain why his company is exploring for copper in the area and will offer an update on the status of the project. He will also describe Highland’s environmental, community engagement, and social responsibility programs.**

Ross Grunwald has a B.S and Ph.D from South Dakota School of Mines and Geology and an M.Sc. from the University of Hawaii. He is a registered professional geologist in California, Oregon, and Washington and a certified hydrogeologist in California. Grunwald explored and mined copper at Centennial in the 1970s.

Editor's Notes:

* Click here for Keweenaw Now's March 26, 2012, article on Ross Grunwald's presentation to the Keweenaw Peninsula Chamber of Commerce and on the technical report issued September 29, 2011, by Behre Dolbear Mineral Industry Advisors, titled "Canadian National Instrument 43-101 Technical Report on the Centennial and Kingston Native Copper, 543S, and other Copper Sulfide Properties, Houghton and Keweenaw Counties, Michigan, USA."

** Click here for a fact sheet, dated February 2013, on Highland Copper Company's mining exploration in the Keweenaw.

Keweenaw Now will be presenting a series of video reports/articles on some of KUUF's mining education series programs. The following, first in our series, is a video report of the presentation titled "How Does Mining Impact Ojibwa Land and Culture?"

KUUF Mining Forum Video Report: "How Does Mining Impact Ojibwa Land and Culture?"

Jessica Koski, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community mining technical assistant, speaks about Eagle Rock, an Ojibwa sacred site, now the portal to the Eagle Mine near Big Bay, Michigan. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

On March 10, 2013, the Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship welcomed Jessica Koski, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) mining technical assistant, and Chuck Brumleve, environmental mining specialist for KBIC, who presented "How Does Mining Impact Ojibwa Land and Culture?" They spoke about impacts to water quality, air quality, wetlands and traditional Native American cultural practices as well as tribal concerns about historic treaty rights in the Ojibwa (Anishinaabe) ceded territories.

In the following video clip, Jessica Koski presents background on Ojibwa treaty rights (Videos by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now):

Chuck Brumleve gives a historical overview of recent and potential mining in the Keweenaw and environmental impacts of the industry. He also speaks about treaty rights in the Ojibwa ceded territory:

Here Brumleve, a geologist, talks about the rush of mining exploration in the ceded territories and explains the potential impacts to water quality posed by the present plans for the Orvana Copperwood mine near Lake Superior:

In the next video clip, Brumleve points out the dangers to water quality from the potential Eagle Mine, a sulfide mine for copper and nickel near Big Bay, Michigan. He also speaks about the Humboldt Mill and tailings pit:

Jessica Koski speaks about the cultural importance of Eagle Rock, an Ojibwa sacred site, now the portal to the Eagle Mine near Big Bay, Michigan, and about the impacts of mining on Native cultural and religious practices:

During the question period, Brumleve and Koski explain why the State of Michigan does not honor Native American treaty rights that were signed with the federal government. Michigan is one of two states (the other is New Jersey) with permitting authority delegated to them by the federal government:

Finally, Koski and Brumleve address a question on mineral rights:

In our next video report in this series, Keweenaw Now will present excerpts from an April 14, 2013, presentation by Jim Ludwig, ecotoxicologist, on mining reclamation at the Flambeau Mine in Ladysmith, Wis., as well as a report on KUUF's recent tour of the White Pine Mine site and the Flambeau site.

Dance Zone Marquette to host Blue Champagne Nov. 9, variety of dance events

MARQUETTE -- Bob Buchkoe and his band, Blue Champagne, will be playing for the Dance Zone Saturday dance in Marquette this weekend. The dance begins at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9. Entrance price is $10 per person.

Also at Dance Zone this month:

Hula at 7:15 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8 -- a nice, relaxing exercise break.
Contra and Old-time square dance from 7:15 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 14 (no band this time). All Strings Considered will be back on Friday, Dec. 6. Good, wholesome fun for the whole family!
Dave and Julie Williams will play for a second November dance at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 23.

Other regular events:   

Sundays -- Ballroom dance lessons with the Steppin' Out Dance Club, 7 p.m. FREE!
Mondays -- Square dance, mainstream and plus, 7:30 p.m. $5 per couple.
Tuesdays -- International Folk Dance, 7:15 p.m. FREE!
Fridays --  2nd and 4th Fridays -- Hula dance lessons, 7:15 p.m.; 1st and 3rd Fridays -- Contra and square dance. All Strings Considered playing on Dec. 6, Jan. 17, Feb. 7, March 21, April 4, May 2.  Other Fridays dance to CDs; family-friendly events
Zumba - M, W, F, 6 p.m.

Let Marge know if you have any questions. Call 906-236-1457. Dance Zone is at 1113 Lincoln Avenue (Lincoln and College) in Marquette. Be sure to bring dance shoes to protect this great dance floor!

Finlandia to present Student and Alumni Fashion Show Nov. 9

HANCOCK -- The Finlandia University International School of Art and Design will present a Student and Alumni Fashion Show at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9, in the Finnish American Heritage Center Theater, 601 Quincy Street, Hancock.
The event is free and open to the public.

The show will feature fresh work by Sarah Jalkanen, Carol Kozminski, Eric Hinsch, Ansley Knoch, Yana Weglarz, Eileen Sundquist, Sara Beckley, Gini Moreau and Emily Pierce.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Letter: MLIVE series on Michigan Wolf Hunt exposes violations, asks questions

Letter received Nov. 5, 2013. Reprinted with permission.

Author's Note: The message below was sent to Ontonagon County Prosecutor Jim Jessup and the Ontonagon County Sheriff:

MLIVE reporter John Barnes, has exposed several issues in his series about the Michigan Wolf Hunt.*  There are also several sidebar articles at  The series has been picked up by at least 9 papers and illustrates many violations that should/must be investigated. 
  1.  Violations of dead cattle not being buried (reporter said he saw one in October). This has been an ongoing problem, pictures werepublished in May. Photos that appear in these articles show bones across the field.
  2. Possible animal neglect (I have called about this at least 10 times going back to last year when the donkeys were still alive but in poor condition).** Now, two of the donkeys are dead and one was removed in poor condition. I am once again attaching the DNR report from earlier this year.
  3. Using deer parts to bait wolves (Koski admitted to the reporter).
Also exposed is the cozy relationship Judge Tingstad has with Koski and Tom Casperson.  I know personally that Andy was one of the shooters at the Koski farm and therefore, would have had first hand knowledge of the violations at the farm.  Could this be the reason nothing is being done to enforce the law? Are you being told by Casperson, the judge or the DNR not to enforce the law? The public demands answers.

Nancy Warren**
Ewen, Michigan

* (UPDATED) Click on each of these links for the series of MLIVE articles on the Michigan Wolf Hunt by John Barnes:

"The Michigan myth: How lawmakers turned this true wolf story into fiction."

"Michigan's wolf hunt: How half truths, falsehoods and one farmer distorted reasons for historic hunt."

"John Koski, Part 1: Tour the farm with more wolf attacks than anyone in Michigan's Upper Peninsula."

"John Koski, Part 2: See how Michigan is cracking down on the cattle farmer with the most wolf attacks."

"Crying wolf: Michigan's first hunt heavily influenced by outside interests; follow the money."

"Michigan wolf hunt: Rolf Peterson, globally known wolf expert, argues a hunt is ill conceived."

** Editor's Notes: Nancy Warren, author of this letter, is National Wolfwatcher Coalition Great Lakes Regional director.

See also our June 27, 2013, article by Nancy Warren: "Opinion: Nearly half of wolf depredations attributed to one farm with poor animal husbandry practices."

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Native American Heritage Month events to be held at Northern Michigan University, Michigan Tech; rides to Marquette available

HOUGHTON -- November is Native American Heritage Month, and both Northern Michigan University and Michigan Tech University are hosting events. Michigan
Tech's Center for Diversity and Inclusion is offering transportation to Marquette for the NMU events. If you need a ride, please RSVP by Wednesday, Nov. 6 (see below).

Northern Michigan University’s Native American Students Association is hosting the 13th Annual First Nations Food Taster from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 8, at NMU’s D.J. Jacobetti Center. Rides to Marquette will be provided by Michigan Tech's Center for Diversity and Inclusion. If you would like a ride, RSVP to Karen Wade ( by Wednesday, Nov. 6.

Michigan Tech's Center for Diversity and Inclusion will host a film, presentation, and luncheon featuring April Lindala, Director of the Center for Native American Studies at Northern Michigan University. She will present "Tragic Hands Reaching for Tragic Foods: Positioning Native Women to Cook Fry-Bread and Forget" from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 13, in MUB Ballroom A1 on the Michigan Tech campus. If you would like to attend, please RSVP to Karen Wade ( by Tuesday, Nov. 12.

Michigan Tech's American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) will host a film screening of The Canary Effect at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, in Fisher 135. This film is a 2006 documentary that tells the history of the indigenous people of North America and illuminates the devastating effect that U.S. policies have had on them. There will be free admission and concessions.

For more info about Native American Heritage Month events, visit

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Experience 1913 Calumet with Superior Wind Symphony Nov. 9 at Calumet Theatre

HOUGHTON -- In "1913 Re-visited" the Superior Wind Symphony (SWS) looks at the year 1913 from a wind music perspective, with the advantage of hindsight. See the Superior Wind Symphony, Michigan Tech's premier wind ensemble, under the direction of Mike Christianson, as they take a musical tour of the historic year 1913 at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9, at the Calumet Theatre.

You will hear wind works by world-class composers that existed in the world in 1913, but were almost certainly never heard by one audience -- works by Sousa, Mahler, Sibelius (a recently discovered work; this will be a regional premier), Holst, and Grainger. You will hear examples of the new music that emerged in the US right around 1913, works by W.C. Handy and James Reese Europe. Plus, a work that represents a culmination of a genre that took the US by storm in 1913 (Astor Piazzolla), and a very recent work by a living composer (John Mackey) that quite literally sounds like the processing of iron ore.

For this concert in the historic Calumet Theatre, the SWS will be joined by Lara Neves, mezzo soprano, and will also feature solo work from Eponine Zenker on piano and Randy Bufanda on alto saxophone.

Tickets are adults $13, youth $5, Michigan Tech students free with Experience Tech Fee. To purchase tickets, call (906) 487-2073, go online at, or visit Ticketing Operations at Michigan Tech’s Student Development Complex (SDC). For this performance, tickets will also be on sale at the Calumet Theatre box office.

Save the Wild UP: Questionnaire shows local candidates support economic sustainability

MARQUETTE -- On Friday, Nov. 1, Save the Wild U.P. (SWUP), a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the U.P.’s unique environmental and cultural resources, released the results of its Marquette City Commission Candidate Questionnaire.

"Protecting our environment and communities necessitates civic engagement. We hope results of this questionnaire help voters choose the candidate who best reflects their values," said Margaret Comfort, president of SWUP.

According to results of the candidate questionnaire, every respondent supports job growth in industries that will decrease our dependence on extractive mining. All candidates who responded support projects that will increase local employment opportunities that promote economic sustainability. All respondents believe that new mining developments near waterways threaten fish populations and recreational fishing. All of the respondents support holding mining companies financially accountable for their environmental degradation.

Kathleen Heideman, SWUP vice president, noted the overwhelming interest in decreasing dependence on extractive industries among city commission candidates responding to the questionnaire.

"All of the data shows that sulfide mining is a risky and hazardous business that threatens to leak sulfuric acid into our beloved Lake Superior," Heideman said. "It’s critical that science prevail against well-funded corporate public relations campaigns."

Michelle Halley, local attorney and SWUP advisory board member, added, "Candidates at all levels across the U.P. should know that their positions on mining will define their constituency. Many U.P. voters put economic stability and conservation at the top of their list. Supporting mining-as-usual will not win these votes, and will cost them dearly."

According to Alexandra Thebert, SWUP executive director, this questionnaire was created in response to very low voter turnout for the City Commission primary election. The General Election for the City of Marquette will be held Tuesday, Nov. 5.*

"With so much happening in city politics, we sought to include questions of interest to area residents, regardless of whether we have a stance on the issue itself," Thebert explained.

Full responses to the candidate questionnaire available at

* Click here for information about the Nov. 5, 2013 City of Marquette General Election.