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Thursday, June 30, 2016

First Friday in Calumet, July 1, to offer art, music, refreshments, more ...

Canoe Fire. Photography by Paul A. Rose, featured artist for July at the Paige Wiard Gallery in Calumet. (Photo courtesy Paige Wiard Gallery) 

CALUMET -- Start your July 4th weekend with a colorful First Friday Art Walk Friday evening, July 1, in Calumet. The galleries will be offering new art exhibits, refreshments, poetry, live music and more!

Paige Wiard Gallery: Photography by Paul A. Rose

Louie's Sheep. Photography by Paul A. Rose. (Photo courtesy Paige Wiard Gallery)

Join the Paige Wiard Gallery in welcoming Paul A. Rose as their featured artist for the month of July. People who travel and live in the Upper Peninsula have fallen in love with the beauty and tranquility of this amazing place. Paul's photographs do an amazing job of capturing those elements. Paul’s photographs will be on display at the gallery for the month of July with an opening reception from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, July 1. Stop in and meet Paul and see his beautiful photographs. For more information, email or call 906-337-5970.

Calumet Art Center: Water colors, organ music, rose garden, more ...

Poster for Calumet Art Center First Friday activities and coming summer events. (Poster courtesy Calumet Art Center)

Calumet Art Center, 57055 Fifth Street, will be open from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on First Friday, July 1. Meet Donna Lenard and "loosen up with water colors." While you're there, listen to sounds of the organ by Connie, see new paintings and demonstrations and walk the Heritage Rose Garden. Take a chance on winning the 50/50 drawing, too. For more info on the Center's variety of programs and classes, click here.

Café Rosetta: Poetry and Music

Café Rosetta, at 104 5th Street in Calumet, will celebrate First Friday on July 1 with poetry and music. Poet Elizabeth Halt will host a Poetry Open Mic session from 6:30 p.m.- 7:30 p.m. Bring and read a poem you have written, or something by your favorite poet. Songs are also welcome. From 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. the Back Room Boys (trio version) will play old-time jazz and folk music. Musicians will be Bob Norden, trombone and vocals; Matt Durocher, double bass; and Oren Tikkanen, guitar and vocals (John Munson is off this week celebrating his and Julia's 40th anniversary.)

Galerie Bohème: Lisa Marta Glass

Lisa Marta Glass will be on exhibit for First Friday, July 1, at Galerie Bohème. (Photo courtesy Galerie Bohème)

Lisa Marta Glass will be featured through August 3, 2016, at the Galerie Bohème, 423 5th Street, with an opening reception from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, July 1.* Stop by and view the superb leaded glass and glass sculpture by Lisa Marta, have a cheese and cracker and discuss art and current events with friends and travelers. Other than First Friday, Galerie Bohème hours are 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

The Vertin Gallery: Clay dragons and more by artist June Lander

The Vertin Gallery, 220 6th St., will feature Michigan Artist June Lander, who brings her spectacular technicolor clay dragons, jewelry, trinket boxes and games to the Vertin for First Friday, July 1. Visit the Vertin between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. and enjoy live music, refreshments, fine art, vintage and antique décor, jewelry, furniture, barware, and collectibles on display at the Vertin to help you celebrate the holiday week-end!

Cross Country Sports: Printmaking by Josh K. Winkler

For July, Cross Country Sports, 507 Oak Street, will host a very special exhibit by Minnesota artist Josh K. Winkler, assistant professor of printmaking at Minnesota State University - Mankato, Minn. He works with traditional and contemporary print media, including woodcuts, drawings, etchings and lithographs. The works in this exhibit reflect on the history of Euro-American settlement in the United States and the difficult narratives of American westward expansion -- how the destruction of forests and waterways and the devastation of native peoples continue to teach us lessons on sustainability, the importance of our natural resources, and cultural discrimination. 

As an artist, Josh states: "I am interested how humans manipulate and label the land -- how time, politics, and social change alter the context of both natural and inhabited locations. By combining personal experience with historical investigation, I build layered landscape narratives to reflect on an uncomfortable disconnect between contemporary Americans and the history of the land. I utilize a range of drawing, printmaking, and sculptural processes to facilitate these ideas."

An open house with refreshments will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. this First Friday, July 1.

Copper Country Associated Artists: Art of Doodling

First Friday, July 1 will be DOODLE TIME at Copper Country Associated Artists, 205 Fifth St. From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. visitors can learn the "Art of Doodling." Back by popular demand will be Heather McGee, who will be teaching participants how to express themselves with lines, circles and some of those funny looking twists. Each participant will be given a ceramic tile for creating a masterpiece. This workshop is FREE, and all ages are welcome. Supplies are provided.

*Editor's Note: This announcement for Lisa Marta Glass at Galerie Bohème originally incorrectly stated the exhibit would continue through July 3. We have corrected the date. The exhibit continues through Aug. 3, 2016.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Letter: A toast to Roscoe Churchill, grassroots activist

"Just grass over a grave" is what the late Roscoe Churchill -- pictured here at the "reclaimed" Flambeau Mine site near Ladysmith, Wis. -- called the reclamation by the Flambeau Mining Co., a Rio Tinto / Kennecott subsidiary. Churchill would have been 100 years old today. (Keweenaw Now file photo © Linda Runstrom, Winona, Minn. Reprinted with permission.)

From Laura Gauger*

Today marks the 100th birthday of Roscoe Churchill of Ladysmith, Wisconsin. Let’s raise a toast to this environmental legend!

As described in a February 2007 tribute written by Al Gedicks at the time of Roscoe’s death:  "Roscoe was the grandfather of Wisconsin’s grassroots anti-mining movement. For more than 30 years, this retired school principal, part-time farmer, former Republican, and Rusk County supervisor, along with his late wife Evelyn, were the heart and soul of the efforts to stop some of the largest mining companies in the world -- including Kennecott, Noranda, Exxon, Rio Algom and BHP Billiton -- from destroying the land and clean waters of communities from Ladysmith to the Mole Lake Chippewa Reservation near Crandon and from La Crosse County to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan."

If Roscoe were still living today, you can bet he’d be helping the good people who are fighting PolyMet, Resolution Copper, Back Forty, Twin Metals, Copperwood, Pebble, Tamarack -- and the list goes on. And you can bet he would have been in the middle of the recent GTac battle and would be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with those who to this day are trying to hold Rio Tinto/Kennecott accountable for their misdeeds at Flambeau and Eagle.

We can also thank Roscoe and Evelyn for how "their discussions around the kitchen table with friends and neighbors led to the drafting and successful passage of the 1998 Wisconsin Mining Moratorium Law, known as the Churchill Moratorium Law within the environmental community, in honor of Roscoe and Evelyn’s key role in drafting the original legislation."

So, yes, a toast to this dapper gentleman who, "for as long as there was breath in his lungs, used his voice to speak uncomfortable truths to power and to inspire hope and confidence in the grassroots."  (For Al’s entire tribute to Roscoe, please click HERE.)

* Editor's Note (updated): The author of this letter, Laura Gauger (former Wisconsin resident and now of Duluth, Minn.), along with the Wisconsin Resources Protection Council and the Center for Biological Diversity, sued the Flambeau Mining Co. in January 2011 over the pollution of a tributary of the Flambeau River that is now on the EPA's "impaired waters list" because of high copper levels linked to the Flambeau Mine. She won in U.S. District Court, but the decision was later overturned on a technicality. The Court of Appeals did not dispute the fact that the tributary was polluted. Rather, the mining company was pardoned because the Wisconsin DNR had erred by not requiring the company to secure a federally-mandated permit that would have put limits on the amount of copper discharged to the stream. The tributary remains polluted to this day. Gauger and Roscoe Churchill co-authored the book, The Buzzards Have Landed! -- the story of the Flambeau Mine and their efforts to protect the environment. (See ad for the book in our right-hand column.) Click here to read about the court's ruling.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Political Project of MCRC v. EPA, Revisited

By Louis V. Galdieri*
Posted June 18, 2016, on Louis V. Galdieri's blog
Reprinted in part with permission

Judge Robert Holmes Bell dismissed the Marquette County Road Commission’s case against the EPA back in May, and last week the Road Commission’s attorneys at Clark Hill PLC filed a motion to alter and amend that judgment. They complain that the Court’s dismissal for failure to state a claim is not only mistaken on points of law but, more dramatically, it allows the "EPA and the Corps to wage a war of attrition on local governments seeking to protect the health and welfare of their people."

I was struck by this inflammatory piece of political rhetoric about federal overreach for a couple of reasons. First, because it’s just the sort of hyperbolical language Michigan State Senator Tom Casperson and StandUP, the 501c4 dark-money organization funding the Road Commission lawsuit, have used to frame the case for County Road 595 and advance what, in a series of posts (1, 2, 3, 4) last summer, I called the political project of MCRC v. EPA. Second, because the motion here tacitly admits that mining activity on the Yellow Dog Plains has put "the health and welfare" of people in Marquette County at risk. Rio Tinto and then Lundin Mining proceeded with their plans to mine copper and nickel at Eagle Mine and truck it to Humboldt Mill without a clear haul route. They not only went ahead; they were permitted by the state to do so. The risk was transferred to the public....
Click here to read the rest of this article on Louis V. Galdieri's blog.

* Guest author Louis V. Galdieri is a writer, filmmaker and co-director of the acclaimed 1913 Massacre, a documentary film about the Italian Hall tragedy in Calumet. (Inset photo of Louis V. Galdieri courtesy Save the Wild U.P.)

 Editor's Note: See also Keweenaw Now's June 17, 2016, article from Save the Wild U.P.: "Environmentalists applaud dismissal of Road Commission's CR595 lawsuit."