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, May 06, 2016

Orpheum Theater to host benefit concert for HEET May 7

HEET (Houghton Energy Efficiency Team) will hold a benefit concert Saturday, May 7, at the Orpheum Theater in Hancock. (Poster courtesy HEET)

HANCOCK -- Steve Jones and the Garden City Hot Club will headline a benefit concert for the Houghton Energy Efficiency Team (HEET) from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, May 7, at the Orpheum Theater in Hancock. Emma Hitch-Bradley and Matt Langlais will open the show.

Admission is $10. A free LED light bulb is included with the first 50 tickets, and door prizes will be awarded.

The Garden City Hot Club is a trio of two jazz guitars and bass built around the lead guitar and easy-going vocals of Steve Jones, who jammed with some of the big names in jazz during an extended stay on the East Coast. Now back home in the U.P., he and the rest of the Hot Club bring intensity and joy to original compositions, old jazz standards, modern Roma-influenced music, swing-based novelty songs, blues and anything else that sounds good.

HEET will use all funds raised during the concert to buy materials to winterize homes in Houghton County. Currently HEET is hosting a team of AmeriCorps volunteers who will be pushing to winterize dozens of area homes in the coming weeks.

HEET is an ad hoc group of volunteers formed to help Houghton County compete for the Georgetown University Energy Prize. Approximately 50 regions nationwide are in the running for the $5 million prize, which challenges local communities to rethink their energy use and implement creative strategies to increase energy efficiency.*

* Editor's Note: To learn more about HEET, see our Jan. 21, 2015, article, "Houghton County, HEET celebrate semifinalist status for Georgetown University Energy Prize competition."

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Enjoy warm weather, First Friday Art Walk in Calumet May 6

This Calumet Art Center poster announces a number of activities at the Center this month and on First Friday, May 6. (Poster courtesy Calumet Art Center)

CALUMET -- "It's May, it's May ..." in Camelot, aka warm and snowless Calumet, on First Friday, May 6. Don't miss the First Friday Art Walk and enjoy the balmy weather as well as new art exhibits, activities and receptions in the galleries.

Calumet Art Center

Please stop by the Calumet Art Center, 57055 Fifth Street, to mingle with friends during First Friday in Calumet, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. May 6. Become a member of the Art Center, enroll in art classes and put your name in the 50/50 raffle bowl for the drawing held at 8 p.m. the same evening. This First Friday the Center will host "Loosen up with Watercolors" demonstrations by Donna Lenard. Learn how working with watercolors is easier than you think. Donna will demonstrate her techniques in creating and bringing color to life.

During your visit be sure to see the very popular soap dishes. Each one is uniquely carved, textured or embellished with copper and driftwood and includes a bar of handmade soap by Lynn Reed. Proceeds will benefit youth classes.

Just arrived from Empire, Mich., is the long awaited Peace Pole, made by Peace Pole Makers USA. This Peace Pole is hand-crafted, hexagonal with "May Peace Prevail on Earth" on each of its six sides in Ojibway, Norwegian, Finnish, Swedish, English and Sami languages. This will serve as a constant reminder for us to visualize and pray for world peace. PEACE POLE brass donor recognition plaques are available for $125 each and will be displayed on the Peace Pole. With your help, installation and dedication of the Peace Pole is scheduled for June 2016. Contact the Center to reserve your plaque. Don’t forget to sign up for the May Clay class and check out upcoming events and classes on summer youth emersion program schedule is posted. Since space is limited, parents are encouraged to pre-register.

Vertin Art Gallery and Antiques

Photographic collage by Charles Masten of Key North Productions. (Photo © Charles Masten and courtesy Vertin Art Gallery and Antiques.)

The May exhibition in The Vertin Art Gallery and Antiques, Sixth and Oak streets in Calumet, celebrates "The 100 Day Project: Across the Lake -- A Call To All." The public is invited to a reception from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on First Friday, May 6. Fine art, antiques, jewelry, and gifts from local artists and collectors will be featured including vintage, industrial chic, bohemian, mid-century modern and classic retail items available for the style-minded shopper.

Local artist Charles Masten of Key North Productions says, "I have been taking and accumulating photographs of historic buildings and architectural elements in and around the Keweenaw Peninsula for the last 15 years. When I first heard about the 2016 '100 Day Art Project,' I quickly decided this was a logical point for me to 'jump in' and create that photographic collage of some of the well-known and lesser-known places that has been developing in my mind for so many years. 'The Keweenaw. Upper Peninsula Michigan' poster is the first, I hope, of several in a series."

The Vertin, a  co-op family of artists and lovers of all things old and unique, is currently open for consignment of artwork, vintage, antiques and quality furniture. Pre-estate planning and consultation are available.

Paige Wiard Gallery
Artwork can be inspired by all types of environments -- real and in the mind, urban and rural, industrial and primitive, coastal and arid, and the beauty and destruction created by Mother Nature. For the month of May the Paige Wiard Gallery, 109 5th St. in Calumet, will be displaying artwork portraying artists' impressions of "Scapes."

This photo by Mark Gregg is part of the new exhibit, "Scapes," at the Paige Wiard Gallery. (Photo © Mark Gregg and courtesy Paige Wiard Gallery)

Visit the gallery between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on First Friday, May 6, for an opening reception and explore the different worlds of "Scapes."  For more information please call 906-337-5970 or email

Hahn Hammered Copper

Stop by Hahn Hammered Copper this First Friday for a glimpse of Pete’s twinkling copper stars and striking blue fish. Pete and Shelly Hahn have also added more cool stuff to their "Collections" show from last month. When visiting the galleries and art space in town, enjoy the Main Street Calumet "Windows into the Past" displays that are being set up in various windows along 5th Street to honor Calumet Township's Sesquicentennial Celebration taking place this summer.

Calumet Floral and Gift

The Calumet Floral and Gift shop, 221 Fifth Street, will be open on First Friday evening, May 6. Stop in to see their demonstration of Mother's Day arranging.

Copper Country Associated Artists

"Sketches with Pastels" is the theme for the First Friday event from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. May 6 at the Copper Country Associated Artists (CCAA) Gallery. This workshop is open to beginners who would like to explore the art of pastels and sketching.

Bob Dawson, local artist and gallery member, will guide those interested in learning to join the fun. Supplies will be provided BUT participants are asked to bring a photo or two that they will use for sketching. Space is limited to about 12 people. Unfortunately, CCAA cannot accept reservations to hold a seat. Ages 15 years and older are welcome to join the event. First come, first serve.

Cross Country Sports

For the month of May, Cross country Sports, 507 Oak St., will feature new work by Annele Sakari, of Hello Starling designs. Annele draws on her love of the outdoors, nature and the Keweenaw to create unique, original jewelry in pure silver and copper using precious metal clay, a medium which consists of very tiny particles of precious metals mixed with an organic binder. The metal clay is shaped and designs are stamped into the clay. It’s fired in a kiln, burning off the organic material and leaving the pure sintered metal. Some of Annele’s designs incorporate ferns, flowers, and scenes from the Keweenaw. Bob Dawson’s show, "Watercolors Now and Then," is also up through the end of May.

Stop in from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. on First Friday for an open house and refreshments -- and see what’s new!

Galerie Bohème

Galerie Boheme, 423 5th St., will be open from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on First Friday, May 6. Each month Galerie Bohème has a new exhibit featuring local artists in diverse media Stop by to visit with the artists and see what new works they are producing.

Café Rosetta

Café Rosetta, 104 5th St., will feature a poetry reading at 6:30 p.m., and Kombucha tasting at 4 p.m. this First Friday. The Featured Artist is Robin Rastello. Robin began her art career creating soft sculptured dolls with painted faces. After a while, she realized that she could transfer this art to canvas. She says about this transition, "Once I got started I never looked back." Using multi-media techniques, she first painted angels, but her style evolved rapidly into portraits of women and children and eventually landscapes and cityscapes. Her whimsical style both delights and intrigues, so be sure to stop in to check this out.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Hike wilderness trail with Save the Wild U.P., The Nature Conservancy May 7; EPA meeting on L'Anse Warden Plant; forums on Back 40 project

From Save the Wild U.P.

MARQUETTE -- A special collaborative event between The Nature Conservancy and Save the Wild U.P. will be held on Saturday, May 7. Enjoy a guided hike of the Elliott Donnelly Wilderness Trail, one of the wild gems of Marquette County.

The Donnelley Tract was purchased by Elliott Donnelley and gifted to the State on behalf of Trout Unlimited. The purpose of this gift was to protect the Little Garlic River and its watershed for the trout fishery it provides. The special guide for this hike is Mac Strand, Northern Michigan professor of biology, who will help participants appreciate the "river flowing under the river," groundwater interactions, and the key importance of unnamed tributaries to health of the Little Garlic River. Jeff Knoop of The Nature Conservancy will also be along to discuss TNC’s work to protect this area. Meet-up is at 12:30 p.m. at the Little Garlic Trailhead off CR-550. There is a $10 fee to participate, with all proceeds benefiting the work of Save the Wild U.P.

Thanks to those who participated in the recent Earth Day "Cleaning Up after Sulfide Mining" event -- a great success!

"We removed four bags of trash and seven bags of recyclables from the AAA road," said SWUP Executive Director Alexandra Maxwell. "Even small events like this make a big difference, and seeing individuals do their part is incredibly inspiring -- stay tuned as we plan to offer more clean-ups down the road!"

More upcoming events

What’s happening with the L'Anse Warden Plant?

As you may know, the L’Anse Warden Electric Plant has been spewing toxic chemicals into the air and water in L’Anse. Concerned citizens and grassroots efforts from the Friends of the Land of Keweenaw (FOLK) have resulted in renewed scrutiny over the plant's Clean Air Act violations.*

The USEPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) will be holding a meeting from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (EDT) on Monday, May 9, in the L’Anse Area Schools Cafetorium, 201 N. 4th St. in L'Anse.

1. USEPA will give a summary update on Warden’s violations and non-compliance points.
2. USEPA will listen to public comments and concerns. Written comments will also be accepted.


Forums on Back Forty Sulfide Mining Project

Friends and collaborators from the Menominee Tribe, Front 40 and Wisconsin Resources Protection Council will be holding a series of informational forums on the Aquila Resources Back Forty Project. The Save the Menominee River speaking tour kicks off at 6:30 p.m. (Central Daylight Time) on May 9 at University of Wisconsin Marinette. The May 17 forum will be held at the Menominee VFW Hall at 6:30 p.m. CDT, and the final forum will be held at 10 a.m. on May 25 CDT at the Stephenson Annex. See more details on **

Editor's Notes:

* Click here for the EPA Web site with recent info on the L'Anse Warden Plant. Both Save the Wild U.P. and FOLK members held a press conference on Apr. 25 concerning the L'Anse Warden Plant. Click here for the TV-6 report.

** See Save the Wild U.P.'s March 9, 2016, article, "'Red-Flag Review' Reveals Flaws in Sulfide Mine Application."