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.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Ski Club welcomes volunteers for trail work at Swedetown gorge Saturday, Oct. 11

During a break in trail work at Maasto Hiihto, Sandy Aronson and Gromit the Trail Dog admire the fall colors near Swedetown gorge. Volunteers are needed TOMORROW, Saturday, Oct. 11, to help on the trails. (Photo © and courtesy Arlyn and Sandy Aronson of Trail Mutt Reports)

HANCOCK -- Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club (KNSC) members invite more volunteers to help them work on the Maasto Hiihto trails this Saturday, Oct. 11, and get the trails ready for snow.

Some KNSC volunteers will be working on the Swedetown Creek gorge Saturday. If you can help, meet at 9 a.m. at the Tomasi Trailhead. Wear work or hiking boots and bring work gloves and safety glasses if you have them. KNSC will bring extra if you don't and will supply you with all necessary tools. You might also want to bring some water and snacks for yourself.

"Gromit will be so happy to see you, she'll feature you on her blog!" says Sandy Aronson.*

The work bee is scheduled approximately from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., but your help is welcome even if you can't stay for the whole time. Please RSVP to if you can, but last minute additions are welcomed.

* See more photos of Gromit's recent trail adventures on Trail Mutt Reports.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra to present concert of music from Argentina Oct. 11 at Rozsa

The Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra will present "Vive Latino!" -- music from Argentina -- on Saturday, Oct. 11. (Concert poster courtesy Michigan Technological University)

HOUGHTON -- Noted Argentinian conductor, Luis Gorelik, will guest conduct the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra in "Vive Latino!" -- an electrifying evening of música from Argentina at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 11, at the Rozsa Center. With masterworks from the country's leading composers -- including Alberto Ginastera -- this unique performance highlights the frenetic energy, danceable rhythms, and exhilarating pulse of the music.

General admission tickets are $19 for adults and $6 for youth.

Buy tickets and attend the performance or LISTEN LIVE online for free!

Tickets may also be available at the door.

Folk Dance Pot Luck to be Oct. 10 at Canterbury House

HOUGHTON -- A Folk Dance Pot Luck will be held beginning at 6:45 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10, at Canterbury House in Houghton. International folk dancing will follow -- from 7:45 p.m. to about 10 p.m. Open to all.

Canterbury House is the yellow house across the highway from Michigan Tech's Administration Building. Keep in mind that parking is limited at the house.

Students and beginning dancers welcome. Please bring a dish to pass and a donation for the use of the house.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

"New Work by Clyde Mikkola" on exhibit at Community Arts Center; reception Oct. 9

 Art by Clyde Mikkola. (Photo courtesy Copper Country Community Arts Center)

HANCOCK -- The Copper Country Community Arts Center announces its current exhibition in the Kerredge Gallery: "New Work by Clyde Mikkola," on display through Oct. 31.

Calumet artist Clyde Mikkola paints a variety of subjects from landscapes and seascapes to portrait miniatures. He works with pencil, watercolor, acrylic and oil paints. In his colossal painting titled "And Life Goes On" thirty-five figures create a narrative with strong symbolism.

An opening reception will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 9.

This exhibition is supported in part by a grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts. The Copper Country Community Arts Center is located at 126 Quincy Street in Hancock. For more information visit or call (906) 482-2333.

Club Indigo to feature film "October Sky" with homestyle buffet Oct. 10 at Calumet Theatre

CALUMET -- The October food and film event at the Calumet Theatre, Club Indigo, will present the film October Sky at 7:15 p.m. on Friday, Oct 10.

October Sky is a unique, prize-winning drama based on the life of Homer Hickam, Jr, who fell in love with space travel when he watched Sputnik race across the sky on Oct. 4, 1957. Hickam forsook the life of a coal miner in a West Virginia town to study rocketry and rose to international fame.

The movie follows Hickam during his high school days as he creates the first of a series of rockets despite great obstacles -- some serious, some amusing -- to rise to fame in the military and at Cape Canaveral with Werner von Braun. An excellent cast is headed by a youthful Jake Gyllenhaal as Hickam.

The movie will begin at 7:15 p.m., preceded by a homestyle Southern buffet from Hancock's Kangas Café at 6 p.m. Cost for both is $20, while the film alone is $5. Kids ten and under will receive a special discount. For the buffet, call the theatre (337-2610) before 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, for a reservation.

Finlandia's Nordic Film Series resumes with Finnish comedy Oct. 9

HANCOCK -- The 11th season of the Nordic Film Series kicks off October 9 with a comedy about a man from Lapland who needs to buy a digital TV box by dawn or risk losing his girlfriend.

In Lapland Odyssey this man sets out into the night with his two friends to find a box, and on this adventure the three face many entertaining challenges. The film will be shown at Finlandia University’s Finnish American Heritage Center at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 9.

A 2010 comedy by Finnish director Dome Karukoski, Lapland Odyssey is about 90 minutes long. The film is in Finnish and is subtitled in English. It won two comedy awards in 2011 and was nominated for two others. There is some adult language and alcohol use portrayed in this film.

Both showings of Lapland Odyssey are open to the public; donations are appreciated. For more information, call the Finnish American Heritage Center at 906-487-7549 or 906-487-7302.

(Poster courtesy Finlandia University)

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Guest article: A Postscript on Weird Timing and Pending Collapse

By Louis Galdieri*
Posted on Louis Galdieri's blog Oct. 2, 2014
Reprinted here with permission

Since I wrote my last post on Eagle Mine, I’ve been thinking about the thing I most wanted to say and never managed to say. I’d hoped in that post to call attention to the weird timing of Conibear’s announcement, but I couldn’t quite figure out how to do that. The company announced the start of mining operations in the Yellow Dog Plains right in the wake of the People’s Climate March, and during a week when world leaders were gathered at the UN to discuss the global climate crisis and acknowledge the fragile condition of the biosphere.

The Eagle announcement never takes any of that into account. It makes some predictable noises about environmental responsibility. You don’t have to listen very hard to hear the dissonance.

Hands up during the 12:58 moment of silence at the People's Climate March. Just before this, a group led a chant that went something like: "Keep the tar sands in the ground / Close the mines and shut them down." Other than that I didn't hear too much talk about mining at the march. (Photo and caption © and courtesy Louis Galdieri. Reprinted with permission.)

That this mining operation poses an immediate threat to the Yellow Dog watershed hardly needs saying. As I mentioned in my last post, Lundin Mining cannot point to a nickel and copper mining operation in the U.S. or Canada that has not polluted groundwater or surrounding waters, and there is no reason to believe that Eagle will be the magical exception -- despite the company’s claims that the water they are discharging is drinkable.** No one who makes that statement should be taken seriously, let alone believed, unless he follows it with a nice big glass of minewater, and fetches one for the kids while he’s at it.

Eagle is just the start. The bigger mining, leasing and exploration boom all around Lake Superior only magnifies the threat. One of the busiest mining operations in the world is about to be staged around one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world. The timing couldn’t be worse. Freshwater ecosystems are under greater pressure than ever before. Just this week, the Living Planet Index reported a 76 percent decline in freshwater species since 1970. That alarming statistic is one very clear indication of pending environmental collapse, and reason enough to protect Lake Superior from any further encroachments by risky mining operations.

It’s disconcerting, too, that the new mining around Lake Superior was spurred, in no small part, by Chinese growth and urbanization, which put a new premium on copper and nickel; and of course urbanization in China -- which starts with pouring cement and raising stainless steel -- will only aggravate emissions, further compromise China’s freshwater resources, and hasten environmental collapse. It is hard to see how this can end well, and it’s difficult for me to understand why anyone would pretend it is sustainable.

The weirdest twist in all this may be that this new mining operation goes into production just as China appears to be slowing down, after two decades of heady growth. As a result, "money managers are bearish on copper," reports Bloomberg’s Luzi Ann Javier in a review of commodity ETFs; and "global inventories of nickel tracked by the London Metal Exchange are at an all-time high." There is a glut. The warehouses are full. Right now, at least, it looks as if the rush is over.

Editor's Notes:

* Guest author Louis Galdieri is a filmmaker based in New York City. He and fellow filmmaker Ken Ross visited Houghton, Mich., in October 2013 and screened their documentary 1913 Massacre, about the Italian Hall tragedy, at Michigan Tech University's Writing Across the Peninsula Conference, where Keweenaw Now interviewed them. (Inset: October 2013 Keweenaw Now photo of Louis Galdieri, speaking during interview at Michigan Tech.)

** See Louis Galdieri's Sept. 28, 2014, post, "Does Eagle Mine Have Social License to Operate?"

Monday, October 06, 2014

Hancock Bike, Pedestrian Committee to host public meeting Oct. 9

HANCOCK -- The Hancock Bike and Pedestrian Committee and city officials will host a public meeting Thursday, Oct. 9, for comments and suggestions on making Hancock safer and more convenient for non-motorized transportation and transit use. The meeting will take place from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m at the First United Methodist Church, 401 Quincy Street (next to city hall). Following a brief presentation, members of the public may offer suggestions on how to make Hancock safer and more convenient for walking, cycling and transit use by people of all ages and abilities.

Maps and plans of existing infrastructure and proposals for new walking and biking routes will be available for viewing, and forum hosts will answer questions and take verbal and written comments. Hancock residents and people who commute to the city may also comment via an on-line Non-Motorized Transportation survey accessed from a link at the city web site. Click here to access the survey. It is anonymous, and it just takes a few minutes.

Portage Library to host Oct. 8 presentation for veterans, their families, counselors, more

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library will host the Community Coalition on Grief and Bereavement for a public presentation from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 8. A panel of speakers will present "The Impact of Traumatic Grief and PTSD on Veterans and Their Families."

The purpose of this program is to provide veterans and those who care about them the information they need to understand traumatic grief and PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and learn how to regain mental and physical health.

Panel speakers include Derek VanBuren, administrative sergeant at the Ishpeming National Guard Armory and a veteran wounded in the Afghanistan War; Christy Girard, Psy.D., psychologist at the Veterans Administration Clinic in Hancock; and Chaplain Herb Becker, chaplain with the Veterans Administration in Iron Mountain.

Veterans, their families, therapists, counselors, clergy, and health care workers are especially encouraged to attend. All are welcome. Light refreshments will be served.

Library programs are free and everyone is welcome. For more information, please call the library at 482-4570 or visit

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Artist applications available at Community Arts Center for 38th Annual Poor Artists Sale

HANCOCK -- Applications are available for the Copper Country Community Arts Council’s 38th Annual Poor Artists Sale, which will be held on Saturday, Dec. 6, at CLK Schools gymnasium in Calumet. Artists working in any medium, who make their own original work, are eligible to apply.

The booth fee is $75. Application deadline is Wednesday, Oct. 15. Entries will be juried by a panel of professional artists. Originality and quality of the work will be of primary consideration. Applications may be picked up at the Community Arts Center, located at 126 Quincy Street in Hancock. For more information call 482-2333 or email

Keweenaw Garden Club to meet Oct. 6 at Portage Library

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library will host the Keweenaw Garden Club for an evening of gardening tips and ideas for working with our short growing season.

James Niemela, commercial market farmer in Baraga County, will present "Season Extenders for Keweenaw Vegetable Gardens" at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 6.

The Keweenaw’s shorter growing season and cool nights can make vegetable gardening challenging. Niemela, a local commercial farmer who uses organic methods, will share low-tech ideas that anyone can use to extend the harvest season in their home gardens. His focus will be on inexpensive options such as low tunnels, use of hardy cultivars that withstand freezing, and succession planting for continued harvest into the fall and early winter.

The Keweenaw Garden Club was established by and for gardening enthusiasts. They have meetings and presentations at the Portage Lake District Library on the first Monday of each month. Those who are interested in learning more about the club are welcome to attend the general meeting at 6:30 p.m. prior to the presentation at 7 p.m. or visit the Keweenaw Garden Club Web site.

Library programs are free and everyone is welcome. For more information, please call the library at 482-4570 or visit www.pldl,org.