Thursday, April 19, 2018

Rozsa Center to host two concerts, art exhibit opening this weekend

Michigan Tech's Choirs will present "Beyond the Veil" at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 20, at the Rozsa Center. (Photo courtesy Rozsa Center)

HOUGHTON -- Michigan Tech's Rozsa Center will offer art and music lovers three events featuring talent from the local community this Friday and Saturday, April 20 and 21.

Michigan Tech Choirs to present "Beyond the Veil" April 20

The Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts and Michigan Tech's Department of Visual and Performing Arts will present a concert by the Michigan Tech Choirs -- conScience: Michigan Tech Chamber Singers and the Michigan Tech Concert Choir at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 20, in the Rozsa Center.

According to Jared Anderson, chair, Visual and Performing Arts Department, and choirs director, "The choirs at Tech have been working hard to prepare a concert that includes a number of interesting themes. The title of the concert, 'Beyond the Veil,' refers to themes that seem to be opposites as if on two sides of a veil: love and loss, life and death, health and sickness, slavery and freedom, youth and old age. There will be something for everyone at the concert this Friday -- love songs, spirituals, folksongs, and sacred motets."

Tickets for "Beyond the Veil" are on sale now, $13 for adults, $5 for youth, and no charge for Michigan Tech students with the Experience Tech fee; tickets are available by phone at (906) 487-2073, online at, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex, or at the Rozsa Box Office the evening of the performance. Please note the Rozsa Box Office only opens two hours prior to performances.

"From There to Here": Opening Reception Friday, April 20

The Rozsa Center and the Department of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) invite the public to visit their semi-annual student showcase, "From There to Here," featuring works of art created by Michigan Tech students who are participating in Project Learning Lab, an innovative arts classroom based inside  Rozsa gallery b.

Work on display was created by students in Lisa Gordillo’s Traditional Sculpture, Advanced Sculpture, and 3D Design classes. Students from many campus disciplines are represented, including Materials Sciences, English, and Theatre Arts.

The exhibition continues through this Friday, April 20. A reception will be held from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 20, in Rozsa Gallery b. The reception is free and all are welcome.
Students in Traditional Sculpture study traditional ways of making art around the globe, including Guatemalan kites, Zimbabwe-Shona carving, and metal casting, with help from Michigan Tech’s department of Materials Sciences. Students in Advanced Sculpture are encouraged to work with the gallery’s architecture and to create large-scale installations in the gallery. Students in 3D Design have designed and built a tree house for a local, three-year old client.

Student artists represented: Shane Arnold, Rebecca Barkdoll, Jalen Beck, Jessica Boelcke, Alyssa Cinder, Scott Davison, Holly Eyrich, Charlie Heckel, Mads Howard, Aaron Kruzel, Alex Kuehn, Haylee Lakenen, Miles Lefevre, Dakota Lowrance, Michael Miller, Adam Mitchell, Evan Monko, Zack Nelson, Neal Nordstrom, Via Ouellette Ballas, Justin Pearl, Ted Smith, Matt Tascarella, Gabe Toczynski, Makenzi Wentela, Kitty Williams, and Amanda Wils.

For more information please contact Lisa Gordillo, Assistant Professor, Visual and Performing Arts, 906-487-3096,

Superior Wind Symphony to celebrate contemporary composers Saturday, April 21

The Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts and the Department of Visual and Performing Arts will present a concert by Michigan Tech's Superior Wind Symphony and Campus Concert Band, titled "Right Now," a celebration of music written by contemporary composers. They will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 21, in the Rozsa Center.

According to Michael Christianson, Michigan Tech director of bands, "The Superior Wind Symphony and Campus Concert Band combine once again for their year-end wind concert: 'Right Now!' -- the music of living composers. These 14 composers are people who walk among us and who you could conceivably meet. I have met five of them and performed with two of them. Two of them have been on this campus!! Two of them are jazz bassists! They range in age from 33 to 94 and write in a wide range of styles, so there is bound to be something you will love. Composers include: John Mackey, Shelley Hanson, Chris Brubeck, Eric Whitacre, Michael Daugherty, Fred Hersch, Rufus Reid, Esperanza Spalding, Radiohead, Bjork, Andrew Boysen, Jr., Tan Dun, and Sammy Nestico! Join us for a fresh and invigorating evening!"

Tickets for "Right Now" are on sale now, $13 for adults, $5 for youth, and no charge for Michigan Tech students with the Experience Tech fee; tickets are available by phone at (906) 487-2073, online at, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex, or at the Rozsa Box Office the evening of the performance. Please note the Rozsa Box Office only opens two hours prior to performances.

For more information please contact Mike Christianson at, 906-487-2825, or visit

(Inset photos courtesy Rozsa Center)

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Kathleen Heideman -- activist, artist, poet -- honored as Freshwater Hero

Kathleen Heideman of Marquette, Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition (UPEC) board member, active in UPEC's Mining Action Group, has been named a Freshwater Hero by Freshwater Future. (Photo © Christine Saari and courtesy UPEC)

MARQUETTE -- Last week, environmental group Freshwater Future announced the winners of their annual Freshwater Hero awards, which they "bestow upon unique and pioneering water protectors in the region."

Among the recipients of this year’s award is Kathleen M. Heideman of Marquette -- writer, artist, and environmentalist -- who’s been defending clean water and wild places from the dangers of sulfide mining for years. Heideman serves on the board of the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition (UPEC) and works with the UPEC Mining Action Group, previously known as Save the Wild U.P.

Freshwater Future has supported Heideman and her colleagues for their work related to the Aquila Back Forty project and the Eagle Mine and for their efforts to educate the public about the hazards of sulfide mining.

Freshwater Future also recognizes Heideman's artistic talents: "Kathleen’s stewardship and sense of place is evident in her paintings and her poetry, and she incorporates her experiences with water into media that are accessible to a much broader population."*

Freshwater Future recognizes the power of citizen activism, noting that "in every community around the Great Lakes, you’ll find thoughtful, committed residents taking action to protect our lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands, shorelines, and drinking water. Small, individual actions can make a big difference, and at Freshwater Future we’re inspired by those who devote their time to making things better. It’s this collective involvement that helps keep our waters safe, clean, and accessible to all."

Freshwater Future is a watershed-wide organization dedicated to supporting the needs of community-based groups such as UPEC and the Mining Action Group, who work to protect Great Lakes land and water resources.**

Each year, Freshwater Future awards recognize "a handful of the good people doing good things to protect the water in our Great Lakes region. From social justice activists in Detroit, Michigan, to tribal leaders on the remote shores of Lake Superior, every one of these Freshwater Heroes is not only working to safeguard their water, but also caring for the people in their communities and serving as an inspiration to us all."

UPEC President Horst Schmidt notes Heideman's hard work in environmental protection.

"I applaud Kathleen’s diligent efforts, working along with other talented individuals in the Mining Action Group," Schmidt said. "She urges us to work collaboratively and stay vigilant. She understands that what we have up here are not merely natural resources, but waters that are the wild and sustaining essence of our lives."

Heideman among Marquette poets to launch new book at Portage Library April 17

In addition to her activism, Heideman finds time for art, photography and poetry. She is a member of the Marquette Poets Circle, who will celebrate the launch of their anthology Maiden Voyage with readings from the book from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. this Tuesday, April 17, at the Portage Lake District Library in Houghton. Along with Kathleen Heideman, poets Beverly Matherne, Jesse Koenig, Janeen Rastall, John Taylor, and Richard Rastall will read from their poems, offering a great variety of themes and images.


* Click here to read more about Kathleen Heideman and her work.

** Click here to read more about Freshwater Future's Freshwater Heroes.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Richard J. Koubek elected Michigan Tech’s next president

Michigan Tech President-Elect Richard Koubek and his wife, Valerie Koubek. (Photo courtesy Michigan Tech University)

By Stefanie Sidortsova, Michigan Tech Director of Communications and Public Relations
Published 10:15 a.m., April 13, 2018, on Michigan Tech News
Reprinted in part with permission

President-elect Richard J. Koubek will lead the University as its 10th president, the Michigan Technological University Board of Trustees announced today.

Koubek, who is executive vice president and provost of Louisiana State University, begins his tenure at Michigan Tech on July 1, 2018. He succeeds Glenn D. Mroz, who has served as president since 2004 and is stepping down to rejoin the University’s faculty.

"Rick Koubek is a man of unquestioned integrity, character and leadership," said Terry Woychowski, chair of the Michigan Tech Board of Trustees. "He has a profound and passionate vision of the role Michigan Tech will play in our nation's prosperity, and the betterment of the world, as he leads this historic University in developing and delivering -- on a global scale -- the solutions to some of society's most vexing challenges. I believe that Dr. Koubek was born for this time, this place and this position."

The Board of Trustees selected Koubek from a pool of four semi-finalist candidates brought forward for consideration by a 14-member Presidential Search Committee (PSC) that included student, faculty, staff, alumni and community representatives....
Click here to read this full story on Michigan Tech News.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Tech Theatre to present "A Midsummer Night’s Dream" April 12-14 at Rozsa

Tech Theatre will present Shakespeare's magical comedy, A Midsummer Night's Dream, this Thursday through Saturday, April 12-14, at the Rozsa Center. (Photo courtesy Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts)

HOUGHTON -- Love abounds! Trickery and magic reveal lovers and fools. A Midsummer Night’s Dream brings together some of Shakespeare’s most memorable characters in a romantic and hilarious adventure. Tech Theatre presents the classic Shakespeare comedy of love, magic, and mixed signals, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, for three nights at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. The play will run Thursday, April 12, through Saturday, April 14, at 7:30 p.m. each night.

Lysander loves Hermia, but Hermia loves Demetrius. The trouble is Demetrius loves Helena who believes she loves Lysander! This is what happens when a love potion gets into the wrong hands. How does it end? Happily, of course! But the mad romantic romp won’t end until magic restores the lovers’ senses. In Shakespeare’s words:
"Ay me! for aught that I could ever read,
Could ever hear by tale or history,
The course of true love never did run smooth."

Play director Patricial Helsel describes the production: "A Midsummer Night’s Dream features actors from all across campus, as well as community and staff members. Christopher Schwartz, lecturer in the Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology Department, plays Oberon, the King of the Fairies. Mark Wilcox, news writer for University Marketing and Communications, joins the cast as Quince, leading the comedic troupe of artisans. The play features original music created by instructor Libby Meyer and student Devin Deal. The fairies sing beautiful harmonies and the show has lovely incidental music composed by Deal. The forest comes alive with a robust ambiance created by student sound designer Samantha Palumbo. A Midsummer Night’s Dream is sure to delight with spectacle, sound, love, and humor."

Tickets for A Midusmmer Night's Dream are on sale now, $15 for adults, $6 for youth, and no charge for Michigan Tech students with the Experience Tech fee. Tickets are available by phone at (906) 487-2073, online at, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex, or at the Rozsa Box Office the evening of the performance. Please note the Rozsa Box Office is only open one hour prior to performances.

Saturday, April 07, 2018

Keweenaw March for Our Lives: videos, photos

By Michele Bourdieu
Videos by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now
Photos by Allan Baker and guest photographers

Participants in the March 24, 2018, Keweenaw March for Our Lives against gun violence gather in Houghton before marching across the Portage Lift Bridge to Hancock and back. (Photo by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now)

HOUGHTON-HANCOCK -- On Saturday, March 24, local participants of all ages gathered for the Keweenaw March for Our Lives against gun violence, crossing the Portage Lake Lift Bridge from Houghton to Hancock and back to show support for changing gun laws to protect our students and schools.

"I counted over 200 people at the Keweenaw March for Our Lives," said organzier Erin Burkett, Michigan Tech PhD Student in Environmental and Energy Policy.

During the Keweenaw March for Our Lives, organizer Erin Burkett, right, Michigan Tech PhD Student in Environmental and Energy Policy, is joined by Hongmei Lu, center, and Sophia Ford --fellow graduate students in Michigan Tech's Department of Social Sciences. (Photo © Hongmei Lu and courtesy Erin Burkett)

This march was held in solidarity with the March for Our Lives that took place in Washington, D.C., and in many other cities that same day.

The event was created, inspired, and led by students across the country who have been speaking out and acting to stop the epidemic of school shootings. Students, teachers, families, and allies are demanding better gun regulations. An average of 23 children are shot every day. School shootings are now the third leading cause of death for American children.


Preceding the Keweenaw march, participants gathered near the bridge in Houghton to hear some brief comments by organizers. Allan Baker captured these introductions on video:

Erin Burkett, organizer of the March 24, 2018, Keweenaw March For Our Lives, welcomes participants gathered to march across the Portage Lift Bridge from Houghton to Hancock to protest gun violence. (Videos by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now)

Preceding the march, Barry Fink of the League of Women Voters reminds participants of the importance of voting.

Ilya Holden, Houghton High School student, speaks about gun violence in the U.S. and reasons for the Keweenaw March for Our Lives.

PHOTOS: New slide show

More than 200 participants in the Keweenaw March for Our Lives form a long line as they head across the west side of the Portage Lift Bridge toward Hancock. (Photo by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now)

Click here to see our new slide show, Keweenaw March for Our Lives: Houghton, Michigan, with photos by Allan Baker and several guest photographers. Click on the lead photo and follow arrows to the right for the slide show. Click on info icon for captions and photo credits.

For more information on the March for Our Lives and ways you can join the movement, click here.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

County Road 595 Appeal concludes

This wetland in the proposed CR 595 corridor is one of many sensitive areas that would be impacted if the proposed road were built. (Keweenaw Now file photo © and courtesy Jessica Koski)

By Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve
Posted on their Web site March 23, 2018*
Reprinted here with permission.

MARQUETTE -- The battle between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Marquette County Road Commission concluded on March 20th in the U.S. 6th Circuit Court over County Road 595, the proposed road leading from Eagle Mine to Humboldt Mill. For those who need a refresher, the permit for CR 595 was submitted to the MDEQ (Michigan Department of Environmental Quality) in 2012 and as part of the review process, the U.S. EPA issued objections to the project based on the Clean Water Act. Long story short, the MDEQ did not issue the permit and the process then transferred to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The Road Commission then decided to file suit against the U.S. EPA with the crux of the lawsuit over the their perception that the EPA’s objections were "arbitrary and capricious" and that they "exceeded their authority" in the process. After review in District court, it was determined that the court cannot even decide on the case because, according to the Administrative Procedures Act, you cannot bring suit against a decision unless it is considered a "final agency decision." The case was dismissed.

The Road Commission then teamed up with a lobbying group called Pacific Legal Fund, who paint themselves as the champions of the little guy against the Goliath of government. They decided to appeal the decision. Oral argument transpired in Circuit court, from which you can read transcripts thanks to journalist Louis Galdieri.** Ultimately Circuit court agreed and affirmed the District court’s decision. The EPA’s objections were not final agency decisions and therefore not reviewable because the permitting process could have continued, but it was abandoned by the Road Commission.

It remains to be seen what the next step is for the Road Commission. In an interview, Road Commission manager Jim Iwanicki said that they have options including asking the court to look at specific things again, proceeding with the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, or dropping the case. It is also a possibility that the permitting process could continue under the authority of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. While the road isn’t going to be built anytime soon, the future is still unclear. The Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve still strongly opposes building a mine road through this remote and wild area. Enough damage has already occurred from mining related activities and we don’t need anymore!

* Click here for this and other articles by the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.

** Click here to read Louis Galdieri's series of articles on the CR 595 controversy.

Monday, March 26, 2018

EPA objects to issuance of Aquila Back Forty Wetland Permit

Posted March 15, 2018, by the Mining Action Group on their Web site. Reprinted in part with permission.

The Aquila Back Forty property, as viewed from Wisconsin side of the Menominee River. A large open pit sulfide mine is proposed for this site. (March 10, 2018, photo © Deborah Skubal and courtesy Mining Action Group.)

STEPHENSON, Mich. --The Front 40 Environmental Group and the Mining Action Group (MAG) of the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition (UPEC), along with their regional environmental allies and fishing organizations, applaud the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) significant objections to the issuance of the Aquila Back Forty Wetland Permit.

The EPA’s objections were announced in a March 8, 2018, letter to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).* Federal concerns are detailed in a supporting document, representing the combined comments of the EPA, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The EPA’s letter identifies seven primary areas of concern regarding the wetland application, and directs the DEQ to resolve those concerns within 90 days.

Sixty Islands section of the Menominee River, riparian wetlands located approximately 200 feet from the proposed Project Boundary. Aquila Back Forty Mine site. (Jan. 9, 2018, photo © Kathleen Heideman and courtesy Mining Action Group.)

In conclusion, the letter states, "This letter constitutes a federal objection to the issuance of a permit for this project. Pursuant to CWA (Clean Water Act) § 404 (j) and the CWA 404 MOA Section 5(d)-(e), the MDEQ has 90 days from the date of this letter to work with the applicant to resolve the issues raised above or deny the permit. The MDEQ may request a public hearing on EPA's objection. If the State does not satisfactorily resolve this objection within 90 days after the date of this letter, or within 30 days after the completion of the hearing if one is held, authority to process the CWA Section 404 permit transfers to the Corps (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) by operation of law."*

* Click here to read the EPA's March 8 letter to DEQ.

Click here to read the full article from the Mining Action Group (formerly Save the Wild U.P.), stating the EPA objections and reactions to their decision from several environmental and fishing groups.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Celebrate the UP! March 23-24 with films, speakers at GLRC and outdoor sports on Tech Trails

Celebrate the UP! offers environmental speakers and more this Friday and Saturday, March 23-24, in Houghton. Click on poster for larger version. (Poster courtesy Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition -- UPEC)

HOUGHTON -- The Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition (UPEC) along with Michigan Tech's Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC) and Friends of the Land of Keweenaw (FOLK) are co-sponsoring the 2018 Celebrate the UP! on Friday and Saturday, March 23-24, at the Great Lakes Research Center and Michigan Tech trails. Guest speakers will offer presentations and films related to the environment and Lake Superior. This event is free and open to the public and includes a Saturday afternoon outdoor outing to enjoy the Michigan Tech world class trails with skis, snowshoes or fat bikes!

Events begin at 6 p.m. Friday, March 23, with a reception for keynote speaker James Mills, followed by a screening of his film, An American Ascent (Denali,  70 min.) and discussion in GLRC Room 202. An American Ascent documents the first African American expedition to tackle Denali, North America’s highest peak, and explores the complex relationship many African Americans have with the outdoors. As the United States transitions to a "minority majority" nation, a staggering number of people of color do not identify with America’s wild places. By embarking on the grueling multi-week climb of the 20,327ft. Denali, nine African American climbers set out to bridge this "adventure gap" -- challenging outdated notions of what adventure looks like by changing the face of America’s biggest and baddest mountain on the 100th anniversary of its first summit.

On Saturday, March 24, the GLRC will be the scene of three concurrent session talks per hour, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Click here for the schedule and bios of the speakers.  
From 11:15- noon lunch will be available for purchase.

At noon Saturday Keynote Speaker Dudley Edmondson will present "My Connection to Nature." Edmondson is the author of the landmark book, Black and Brown Faces in America’s Wild Places, profiling African Americans in nontraditional vocations and avocations in the outdoors. Edmondson also contributes to newspapers and magazines and lectures regularly about diversity in the outdoors.
From 3:15 p.m. - 4 p.m. Saturday the UPEC Annual General Membership Meeting and Panel Discussion will be held in GLRC 202. It will include a Round Table: UPEC Board Members Jon Saari, Maggie Scheffer and Kathleen Heideman will talk about UPEC’s achievements in 2017, focusing on conservation, environmental education, and mining.

From 4:30 p.m. - 6 p.m. Saturday bring your snowshoes, cross country skis, or snowbike to Michigan Tech Trails. Trailhead is on Sharon Avenue, across from football field.

At 7 p.m. Saturday the film Saving Snow will be shown at MTU Forestry Bldg Room G002. This film is a new documentary on climate change and the north. Admission is free. $3 recommended donation.