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Thursday, June 11, 2015

New exhibit of work by Robert Dawson, Orphans at Large, to open June 12 at Community Arts Center

Isle Royale Wilderness, by Robert Dawson. This painting is part of Dawson's new exhibit, Orphans at Large, at the Copper Country Community Arts Center's Kerredge Gallery. (Photo courtesy Copper Country Community Arts Center)

HANCOCK -- The new exhibition in the Copper Country Community Arts Center’s Kerredge Gallery is recent work by Robert Dawson. The exhibition, a mix of pastels, watermedia, and acrylic paintings is called Orphans at Large. Dawson, an artist from Toivola now living in Calumet, is accomplished in many media and works in realistic landscape and expressive abstraction. His themes relate to the lifestyle and lore of the Copper Country. The exhibition will run from June 12 through July 3, 2015.

The public is invited to an opening reception and gallery talk from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, June 12. Refreshments will be served.

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 call (906) 482-2333.

Portage Library to host Used Curriculum Sale, Kids' Fishing June 13; new library art exhibit on display

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library will host two events this Saturday, June 13 -- a Used Curriculum Sale by Copper Country Home Educators and a fishing activity for kids. The library is also hosting a new art exhibit.

Used Curriculum Sale

The Copper Country Home Educators invite everyone to their annual Used Curriculum Sale from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 13, in the Portage Library community room.

The used curriculum sale includes materials in math, science, English, language arts/pleasure reading, social studies, geography, history, government/civics, art, music, foreign language, computing, inspiration/religion, parenting, homeschooling, mixed curriculum, and curriculum by grade.

For more information, please call the library at 482-4570 or email the Copper Country Home Educators group at

Kids! Go Fish!

The Portage Lake District Library and Big Brothers Big Sisters invite kids to bring a fishing pole and go fishing with them on the docks outside the library and the U.P. Kids building from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 13.

Members of the Fishing Club at Michigan Tech University will be available to teach kids how to fish and help them with bait and tackle. Bait will be provided, and the Fishing Club will have several fishing poles to loan if kids don't have their own.

Fishing licenses are not required during this annual Department of Natural Resources Free Fishing Weekend. Snacks will be provided, and everyone is encouraged to bring a water bottle.

Kids must be accompanied by an adult at all times during this event.

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

New art exhibit: Michael N. Friend

The current exhibit at the Portage Lake District Library is pixilation paintings by Michael N. Friend. Friend earned his MA in art education from Northern Michigan University. After his 35-year career as an art educator, Friend set up a studio and began to focus on his second career as a producing artist. He developed a painting technique involving slow transitions of color change by the application of dots using acrylic paint on canvas. His artistic influences are Georges Seurat, Vincent van Gogh, Chuck Close, and Walt Disney.

The exhibit, on display through July 31, is a collaboration between the Copper Country Community Arts Council and the Portage Lake District Library. The Library is located at 58 Huron Street in Houghton. For more information about the exhibition contact the Copper Country Community Arts Center at 482-2333.

Club Indigo to present famous Italian film June 12 at Calumet Theatre

CALUMET -- Club Indigo, the Calumet Theatre's monthly food and film event, will present one of the greatest Italian movies this Friday, June 12. In fact, this film is listed in two international listings as, respectively, one of the six greatest movies ever made, and one of the ten greatest movies ever made.

And well deserving, this film is a powerful depiction of Rome in rubble following the collapse at the end of WWII -- at a time when poverty was the norm, and work was near impossible to be had.

THE BICYCLE THIEF, directed by Vittorio de Sica, is the film. It traces a father and his little son as they criss-cross the ruins of the great city in their desperate search for their only means of survival, their stolen bicycle. The movie begins at 7:15 p.m., preceded by an Italian buffet at 6 p.m. from Chef Cormack of the Laurium Irish Times. Cost for film and buffet, $21; film alone, $6. A call to the theater at least a day before the event will assure seating at the buffet: 337-2610. (Children ten and under receive a special discount.)

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Geology expert Bill Rose to lead 2015 Keweenaw Geoheritage tours July 27-30

Bill Rose, Michigan Tech professor emeritus (Geological Engineering and Sciences), talks about Keweenaw geology at a beach near Point Isabelle on Lake Superior during one of his July 2014 Geo-tours. This year he will lead four one-day geoheritage tours of the Keweenaw by water and land -- July 27, 28, 29 and 30. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

HOUGHTON -- Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula is a place of natural beauty with a fascinating mining history. Join local expert Bill Rose, Michigan Tech professor emeritus (Geological Engineering and Sciences) in reading the landscape to learn how the Copper Country came to be the way it is today. Rose will lead four different tours during the week of July 27-30, 2015.

Each one-day field trip explores one of four major events in Earth’s history that make up the strong geoheritage of the Keweenaw -- Lavas, the Keweenaw Fault, the Jacobsville Sandstone and Copper Mining Waste of Lake Superior. Participants can expect to cover a lot of ground and be outside all the time. Travel is a combination of van transport, short walks and trips aboard Michigan Tech’s research vessel, the Agassiz. Trips are limited by boat capacity to 17 people. Each day trip costs $145 and includes lunch and snacks, boat and van transport.

At the beginning of the July 25, 2014, geotour on Jacobsville Sandstone, Bill Rose introduces participants to the sites they will visit on the Agassiz research vessel. (Video by Keweenaw Now)

Highlights of this year's geotours include the following:

Monday, July 27 -- Lavas and the Keweenaw Rift: This trip focuses on the Keweenaw’s black rocks and its volcanic past -- the site of Earth’s largest lava outpourings. Visit the great lava reefs and related shipwrecks along the shoreline from Eagle Harbor to Copper Harbor, learn about the relationship between copper and lavas, walk the Lake Shore Traps on Manitou Island and visit the Greenstone lava flow -- the largest lava flow on Earth!*

Tuesday, July 28 -- The Keweenaw Fault: This trip highlights the magnificent Keweenaw Fault, a massive thrust fault which split the peninsula lengthwise and uplifted rocks, including native copper, to a place where people could find it.

Bill Rose recently spoke about the Keweenaw Fault in a presentation on Torch Lake Watershed Geology at the May 26, 2015, meeting of the Torch Lake Watershed group. Here is an excerpt from his talk:

Bill Rose explains the importance of the Keweenaw Fault during his presentation at the May 26, 2015, meeting of the Torch Lake Watershed group at Michigan Tech's Great Lakes Research Center. (Video by Keweenaw Now)

Participants in the July 28 geotour will have the opportunity to trace the Keweenaw Fault along the shoreline from Bete Grise to Keweenaw Point and visit gorgeous features shaped by the fault such as Gratiot Lake, the Trap Rock Valley, the mysterious Natural Wall, celebrated Hungarian Falls and the Pilgrim River Valley.

Wednesday, July 29 -- Jacobsville Sandstone: The red rocks of the Keweenaw originate from the ancient, and once massive, Huron Mountains that eroded and filled the great valley of the Keweenaw Rift. View this stunning formation from a unique perspective via the lake. Visit the rocks on land at Point Isabelle and then by water from Grand Traverse -- passing Point Louis, Rabbit Island, Traverse Bay, and Rabbit Bay.

Geology expert Bill Rose talks about interpreting geological layers in the Jacobsville sandstone during the July 25, 2014, geotour on the east side of the Keweenaw Peninsula. (Video by Keweenaw Now)

This tour ends with a visit to the rock’s namesake, the quaint town of Jacobsville where the group will meet with local historians and community members.

Toward the end of the July 25, 2014, Jacobsville Sandstone geotour abord Michigan Tech's Research Vessel Agassiz, passengers arrive at Jacobsville for a visit with local residents and a talk about the history of the area. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

Thursday, July 30 -- Copper Mining Waste of Lake Superior Today: The Keweenaw’s recent mining past is a distinctly visible part of the landscape. Learn about the dynamic lake processes that have scattered mining waste in Lake Superior and inland lakes. Highlights include visits both on land and from the lakeside to the Gay and Torch Lake stamp sands.**

This photo, taken from the Agassiz during the July 25, 2014 geotour, shows the smokestack at Gay and the stamp sand that covers a wide area of beach on Lake Superior. The stamp mill deposited millions of tons of this copper mining waste in Lake Superior, where a current has carried it for miles along the shoreline and farther into Lake Superior. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

Click here for details and registration for any of the geotours.

Teachers who register for the 2015 geotours can receive Michigan Tech graduate credits through the Michigan Tech Summer Teacher Institutes. See: "Michigan Tech Summer Teacher Institutes registration extended to June 19."

Visit the Keweenaw Geoheritage Web site to learn more about the strong Geoheritage of the western UP, including the Keweenaw Peninsula and Isle Royale.


* Click here to read about Keweenaw Lava Flows, including the Greenstone lava flow.

** For more info on the Gay Stamp Sands, including a video clip of Bill Rose speaking about them during a July 2014 geotour, see Keweenaw Now's Nov. 17, 2014, article, "Geology expert notes concerns about arsenic in Gay stamp sands as DEQ accepts comments on stamp sand removal proposal."

Portage Library to host community book discussion June 10

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library invites everyone to bring a lunch and enjoy a Keweenaw Reads community book discussion at noon on Wednesday, June 10.

The book chosen for this year’s discussion is Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by award-winning journalist Barbara Demick. A National Book Award Finalist, Nothing to Envy tells the story of six North Korean citizens over a chaotic 15-year period that saw the death of Kim Il-sung, the rise to power of his son Kim Jong-il, and a famine that killed one-fifth of the population.

Demick takes the reader deep inside the country beyond the reach of government censors and brings to life what it means to be living under the most totalitarian regime today. One by one her subjects experience profound, life-altering disillusionment with a government that has betrayed them.

This program is sponsored by the Copper Country Reading Council with support from the Michigan Reading Association. Weather permitting, the book discussion will take place at the picnic table outside the library. In case of rain it will be held inside in the community room.

This book was chosen for the 2015 Summer Reading As Inquiry Initiative for incoming students at Michigan Technological University to read and discuss during orientation week in August. The greater community is invited to join additional discussions about this book throughout the summer. For more information about times and locations, please call the library at 482-4570.

Library programs are free and everyone is welcome.

Michigan Tech Summer Teacher Institutes registration extended to June 19

HOUGHTON -- Registration for the 2015 Summer Institutes at Michigan Tech has been extended to June 19. Graduate credits are available for these institutes. The dates for the institutes are as follows:
  • July 6-10 -- Engaging Students in Authentic Science Research Teacher Institute (for grades 4-12 teachers). Teachers gain skills in designing original research, rather than merely conducting cookbook experiments. Teachers will learn research design methods and procedures and will participate in a variety of research field and lab studies. Click here for details and online registration.
  • July 13-17 -- Global Change Teacher Institute (for grades 4-12 teachers). This 5-day Institute will prepare you to engage your middle and high school students in a real-world study of the effects of global change on ecosystems, including the impacts of climatic change on forests -- elevated carbon dioxide and ozone levels, nitrogen saturation, acid rain, and invasive species. Teachers will participate in the MEECS Climate Change workshop and receive NEW MEECS Climate Change Unit. Click here for more info and online registration.
  • July 20-24 -- Designing a Sustainable Future Teacher Institute (for grades 4-12 teachers). This institute will introduce teachers to the field of sustainability through examination of product life cycles; product recycling; repurposing materials; renewable energy sources of wind, solar, and biomass; designing energy. Participants will also learn about resource-efficient buildings, site designs to reduce storm water runoff and increase biodiversity, and efficient transportation systems and vehicles. The institute will address the Next Generation Science Standards and be taught by a variety of Michigan Tech University faculty and graduate students, along with community and teacher experts. Click here for details and online registration.
  • July 27-30 -- Keweenaw Geoheritage Tours by Water and Land. Each one-day field trip explores one of four major events in Earth’s history that make up the strong geoheritage of the Keweenaw -- Lavas, the Keweenaw Fault, the Jacobsville Sandstone and Copper Mining Waste of Lake Superior. Travel is a combination of van transport, short walks and trips aboard Michigan Tech’s research vessel, the Agassiz. Michigan Tech graduate credits are also available for this institute. For more information, trip descriptions and registration visit the Geotours website. For specific questions contact Erika Vye at*
For more information, institute descriptions and costs, visit Western Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education. To register for Michigan Tech credits, contact Lori Witting at 7-2263 or For further information, contact Joan Chadde at 7-3341 or

* Update: Click here for more details on the Geoheritage Tours.

Monday, June 08, 2015

Portage Library to host readings by Michigan Notable Book author Lolita Hernandez June 9

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library invites everyone to an evening of readings and reflections with 2015 Michigan Notable Book author Lolita Hernandez from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 9.

Hernandez will read excerpts from her award winning book Making Callaloo in Detroit. As a daughter of parents from Trinidad and Tobago, Hernandez gained a unique perspective on growing up in Detroit. In her book she weaves her memories of food, language, music, and family into twelve stories of outsiders looking at a strange new world, wondering how to fit in, and making it through in their own way. Hernandez's stories reflect the diversity of characters to be found at the intersection between cultures while also offering a window into a very particular and rich Caribbean culture that survives in the deepest recesses of Detroit.

In addition to being a compelling and colorful read, Making Callaloo in Detroit explores questions of how we assimilate and retain identity, how families evolve as generations pass, how memory guides the present, and how the spirit world stays close to the living.

Born and raised in Detroit, Hernandez is the author of Autopsy of an Engine and Other Stories from the Cadillac Plant, a winner of a 2005 PEN Beyond Margins Award. She is also the author of two chapbooks, Quiet Battles and snakecrossing. She is a 2012 Kresge Literary Arts fellow, and her poetry and fiction have appeared in a wide variety of literary publications. After more than thirty-three years as a UAW worker at General Motors, she now teaches in the creative writing department in the University of Michigan Residential College.

A book signing and selling will follow the presentation.

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