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Local Briefs
Political Matters: Mining in the Penokee Hills
Monday, March 10 2014
 
Written by Mordecai Specktor,
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Mining in the Penokee Hills

I’ve devoted several recent “Political Matters” columns to the environmental threat posed by sulfide mining in northeastern Minnesota, the proposed PolyMet mine. This month, I’ll change things up and write about taconite mining. Specifically, Gogebic Taconite, LLC (GTAC) is considering developing what reportedly could become the largest open pit mine in North America.

GTAC’s big dig, just south of the Bad River reservation, would be 4.5 miles long, 1.5 mile wide and 1,000 feet deep. The Wisconsin DNR states that, if developed, “the project would likely include an open pit mining operation, a plant site and waste disposal facilities.”

The GTAC project, as you might imagine, has sparked controversy across northern Wisconsin. I talked recently with Cyrus Hester, an environmental specialist with the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa.

Fond du Lac Follies
Monday, March 10 2014
 
Written by Jim Northrup,
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_northrup_cover_mug_small.jpgC'mere I want to tell you a story. Once upon a time, no wait, that is the wrong story. How about a Vietnam veteran war story? It starts out like this … this is no shit you guys. No that isn't it either.

Try this one: Fond du Lac Follies jetted to Budapest, Hungary to recite poetry. I went over there as part of the U.S. Embassy's Official Speakers Program.

I flew to Budapest with a short stop in Paris. I barely had enough time to get lost in the DeGaulle airport. It was a short two-hour hop to my destination – Budapest. I was met at the airport by Dimitri Tarakhovsky of the U.S. Embassy who took a taxi to take me to the plush hotel that overlooked the Danube River. I knew it started in Germany and ran downhill to Buda and Pest.

The next morning I met with Gabor who had earlier contacted the Embassy to see if they would bring me over. He wanted them to help celebrate the publishing of his book called “Nagy Kis Madar” (with a hyphen over the a) the book was about Jim Northrup and his poetry. Monika Vali and Attila Nemeth provided translation, transportation and photography.

I learned that poets are venerated in Hungary. There are children, streets, schools and bridges named after their poets.


It Ain't Easy Being Indian
Monday, March 10 2014
 
Written by Ricey Wild,
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ricey wild.jpgJust now as of this writing I confirmed plans to attend the Stop the Wolf Hunt rally in St. Paul, Minn. I was told too that I could speak! I’ll give that some thought because this slaughter of our brother wolf is so disgusting and completely horrid that I will probably break down and sob at the wolves’ deaths that never had to happen at all. In my estimation wolves are necessary to the environment as water, sunlight and food. Humans are the only creature that kills for pleasure in addition to being a heinous scourge on our Mother Earth.

The culture of fear of wolves was brought over by the Europeans whose domestic animals were sometimes preyed upon. Everywhere in fables, pop culture and the current war on wolves are blatant lies. Little Red Riding Hood and the BIG BAD WOLF, The THREE LITTLE PIGS and WEREWOLVES are the most recognized stories about this magnificent, family-oriented animal. As a child I was puzzled why wolves were so awful but didn’t question it because I was a little kid and no one told me any different. I don’t have that blind ignorance anymore and my participation in the rally which will have occurred before this publication is done, for now.

Fond du Lac Follies
Friday, February 07 2014
 
Written by Jim Northrup,
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Fond du Lac Follies locomoted to Duluth to the television studio for an interview with Barbara Reyelts. This 30-year veteran newswoman (I was 12 when I started, she said) wanted to know about my upcoming trip to Budapest, Hungary.

The event was set up by producer Ramona Marozas who we learned is Lola Hill's granddaughter. She was the voice in Barbara's earpiece and helped set up the interview.

I could tell these people were professional and prepared.

I introduced myself in the Ojibwe which I am always happy to do. Barbara asked some questions about how the trip came about and what I hoped to accomplish. I said first I would like to dispel any myths the people there had gained from the cowboy and Indian movies. I also wanted to talk about my experiences as a combat Marine from the Vietnam War. I wanted to give the Hungarian people a view of life on the Rez as seen through my eyes.

The twenty-minute interview went well and I learned it will be shown nine times, mostly Saturday and Sunday mornings on Northland Voices.

****


It Ain't Easy Being Indian
Friday, February 07 2014
 
Written by Ricey Wild,
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The easy thing to do is gripe about the horrific Polar Vortex II and how I’ve been huddled in front of my little space heater at home with the temp set at 58 degrees because I dare not put it any higher. Propane is used to heat my house and prices just skyrocketed to almost five bucks a gallon! Oops! I see that I have indeed just complained about the frigidly cold weather up here but I see on national news I’m certainly not alone. A Facebook friend posted a picture of severely frostbitten feet which is hard to look at but it must be harder to feel. But of course all this extreme weather we are experiencing has nothing to do with climate change. So I suppose we can all just diddley-bop along or stick our heads in the sand or snow banks.

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