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North Shore Morning

AM Community Calendar/photo by masochismtango on Flickr

Genre: 
News & Information

News and information, interviews, weather, upcoming events, music, school news, and many special features. North Shore Morning includes our popular trivia question - Pop Quiz! The North Shore Morning program is the place to connect with the people, culture and events of our region!

 


What's On:
Jacob Schmidt sings the National Anthem

West End News: October 11

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Our local rock and roll legend, Jacob Schmidt, who also goes by Cobi Mike and Jacob Michael, is already pretty famous as the singer and lead guitar player for the band Gentleman Hall.  Gentleman Hall tours widely, but is based in the Boston, Massachusetts area, where Jacob formerly attended the prestigious Berklee College of Music.  Last week, his national fame went up another notch when he sang the national anthem at the New England Patriot's Gillette Stadium before their sell-out game against the Denver Broncos.  The national anthem is notoriously difficult to sing and many good singers have embarrassed themselves while performing it.  I'm proud to say that Jacob represented the West End well with his powerful, expressive and mistake free version. And it drew an enthusiastic response from the huge crowd.  Jacob's mother is Carol Perkins, from Lutsen, and his father is Jim Schmidt, from Grand Marais.  I suppose it won't be too long before we see Jacob accepting an Emmy Award!
 
Among the other important political races that are being run in front of next month's election, is a proposed constitutional amendment to require voters to present a piece of photo identification to be eligible to vote in any election in Minnesota.  In my view, this is the most cynical, anti-democratic and un-American political effort since the dark days of segregation and legal discrimination.  The effort is all the more insidious in that it sounds perfectly reasonable on its surface.  For most of us, showing a photo ID is not a problem and who could oppose a measure to prevent voter fraud?  The reality is that there is no significant voter fraud in Minnesota elections and this Voter ID amendment is a deliberate attempt to prevent certain people from voting.  It is not coincidence that the people who will have trouble voting under the new system are more likely to vote Democratic and those that support the amendment are more likely to vote Republican.  I strongly believe in strict election standards, but resorting to trickery and confusion to gain an electoral advantage is deeply un-American.  They are essentially saying that some Americans have more right to vote than others.  This is just plain wrong and we should send a strong message from the voting booth that all Americans have the right to cast a ballot for the candidate of their choice.  I urge everyone to support the concept of one person - one vote, and vote no on the Voter ID amendment.
 
We were deeply saddened last week when a couple of canoeists lost their lives on Alton Lake.  They apparently died of hypothermia when there canoe overturned in high winds.  Although the couple embarked from Sawbill, we did not know them.  They were, by all accounts, experienced and careful campers who were properly dressed and equipped. They were found floating in the lake, near their overturned canoe and were wearing their life jackets.  We may never know why they weren't able to swim to shore and save themselves.  Our hearts go out to their family and friends.
 
I must say that the quick response and professionalism of the Cook County Sheriff's Department, the Cook County Sheriff's Rescue Squad, the Minnesota Highway Patrol and the U.S. Forest Service was impressive.  Even though this was a recovery effort and not a rescue, it was heartening to see such a high level of preparedness and competence.  My sincere thanks to these public servants who perform such difficult jobs on our behalf.
 
This was the week when I performed the annual resort owner’s ritual of draining down the summer water system.  In the past, this chore was traditionally done in September, ideally a few days ahead of the first really hard freeze.  The goal is, of course, to keep the pipes from freezing and bursting.  In recent years, we've been able to keep the water flowing well into October.  Of course, nearly every year, once the pipes are drained, a bit of summer returns with a week or two of balmy weather.  So you heard it here first, I predict the next week or two will be warm and sunny.
 


 
The Lake Superior Project / logo by Lauryl Loberg

LSProject: Changing Climate, Changing Forest - Part II

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There are a lot of ways climate change stands to affect Lake Superior. There's the reduction in ice cover, rising lake temperatures, the increase in storminess and declining water levels. But it’s not just the lake itself that stands to be impacted by the changing climate. The rising temperatures and increase in severe weather events are altering the ecology and forests in the Lake Superior watershed. The forest as we know it—full of birch, spruce, pine and firs—might not be that way for much longer.


 
Wolf pack - photo by John Vucetich/Michigan Tech

Dr. Seth Moore: No fall wolf hunt at Grand Portage

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Dr. Seth Moore is Director of Biology and Environment with the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. 

The Grand Portage Reservation is located in the extreme northeast corner of Minnesota, on the North Shore of Lake Superior in Cook County. Bordered on the north by Canada, on the south and east by Lake Superior and on the west by Grand Portage State Forest, the reservation encompasses an historic fur trade site on beautiful Grand Portage Bay.

The band engages in fisheries and wildlife research projects throughout the year, working with moose, wolves, fish, deer, grouse, and environmental issues. Dr. Moore appears regularly on WTIP North Shore Community Radio, talking about the band's current and ongoing natural resource projects, as well as other environmental and health related issues of concern to the Grand Portage Band.

In this segment, Dr. Moore weighs in on wolves and wolf management.  Produced by Carah Thomas.

 


 
AEOA logo

AEOA offers help for homebuyers on North Shore

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The Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency (AEOA) is inviting prospective homebuyers to a workshop that will help them learn about the process and responsibilities of home-ownership, and how to overcome barriers.

The Homestretch Workshop will be held Saturday, October 13 in the Rec Building next to the Silver Bay Arena, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Pre-registration is required. More information is available from Home Ownership Counselor Tom Lundquist at 800-662-5711 or via Email at tom.lundquist@aeoa.org.         (Click on audio mp3 above to hear an interview with Tom Lundquist, recorded live on WTIP's A.M. Community Calendar show, Monday, October 8, 2012 .)

AEOA's Homeownership Program is designed to promote and encourage homeownership by providing down payment and closing cost loans to income-eligible, qualified buyers.  It is designed to give prospective homebuyers an understanding and knowledge of:

-How real estate transactions work

-Qualifications of homebuyer financing

-Responsibilities of homeownership

Eligibility:

  • Potential buyer must attend the complete series of the Homestretch Workshops.
  • Buyer must complete the Homestretch Workshops and 1-on-1 counseling to qualify for AEOA financial assistance
  • Potential buyer must qualify for a mortgage. The Counselor will assist homebuyers in shopping for an appropriate mortgage.
  • Family income must be at or below 80% of the area median income in St. Louis, Cook, and Lake County (Please call if you are uncertain that you qualify).
  • Potential buyer must be a first-time homebuyer.

Availability:

Cook, Lake, and St. Louis County (excluding the City of Duluth).

 

Contact
Tom Lundquist
(218) 749-2912 ext. 217
(800) 662-5711 ext. 217
tom.lundquist@aeoa.org

The Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency (AEOA) was incorporated in April, 1965, as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and established as a Community Action Program (CAP) for the northeast Minnesota counties of St. Louis, Lake, and Cook. Service delivery for some programs has extended to the four neighboring counties of Aitkin, Carlton, Itasca, and Koochiching.

Currently, AEOA employs more than 350 full- and part-time staff and utilizes more than a thousand volunteers divided among five major departments: Arrowhead Transit, Head Start, Housing, Employment and Training, and Senior Services.

Program: 

 
Crescent Moon (Robert Snache/Flickr)

Northern Sky: Regulus, Antaries & the October moon

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Deane Morrison is a science writer at the University of Minnesota, where she authors the Minnesota Starwatch column.In this first part of October, you can check out a waning crescent moon west of Regulus, the brightest star in Leo; Mars and the bright star Antaries in Scorpio; and much more.

Read this month's Starwatch column.


 
Music Instructor Kerri Bilben

School News from Sawtooth Elementary, October 8

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In Sawtooth Elementary School Music classes, instructor Kerri Bilben introduces students to new composers and performers. Listen as Kerri discusses her music curriculum in this week’s Sawtooth Mountain Elementary School News…


 
Alton Lake at the rise of the full moon.

West End News: October 4

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It was a golden week in the West End – in more ways than one.  The weather was nearly perfect and the colors were at their peak.  As a result, there was a perfect storm of tourism as people flocked to the area for the beauty, hospitality and culture. 
 
All of the events that happened in the West End last week came off with no hitches and all had good attendance.  The Birch Grove Community Center celebration was very well attended and Birch Grove Foundationa Director Patty Nordahl wants me to thank everyone 0n her behalf.  She singled out Matt Kartes, Bill Huggins, Eric Frost, Doug Nordahl and James Coleman for their hard work getting the new wood-fired bread and pizza oven finished and cured in time for the ribbon cutting.  She also thanks Roger Michaelson for cutting the ribbon on the oven, a memorial to his wife Muriel, and Ginny Storlie, who cut the ribbon on the new skating rink and warming house, dedicated in memory of her husband Derald.  Finally, Patty gives special thanks to all the volunteers who got the playground installed.  A couple of former Birch Grove students commented that they would like to re-enroll in elementary school, just so they could enjoy the new playground and tennis court!
 
Patty is also gauging interest in the possibility of a beginning T’ai Chi class at Birch Grove.  Give Patty a call at 663-7977 if you are interested.  Patty also mentioned that several classes are being considered for exploring the various uses of the wood-fired oven.  Let Patty know what your ideas are for the oven – whether as a student, or an instructor.
 
The Sawtooth Mountain Clinic office at Birch Grove will be open one day a week throughout October.  Call 387-2330 for appointments.
 
Before we leave Birch Grove, mark your calendar for Zoar Church’s annual Lutefisk Supper, scheduled for Saturday, November 10th at Birch Grove.  This is a time-tested community event with deep cultural roots that run all the way back to Scandinavia.
 
Another long-standing community event is the North Shore Health Care Foundation Golf Tournament, held at Superior National in Lutsen, on Sunday, October 7.  The traditional 19th hole reception will once again be hosted by the ever-generous Lutsen Resort.  As always, be there, or be square.  You can find details at the North Shore Health Care Foundation website.
 
There are two really cool historical presentations coming up. Cook County Higher Education is collaborating with the Cook County Historical Society to bring up Todd Lindahl, from Two Harbors, who will present “Passenger Boats of the North Shore” on Thursday, October 18, from 7 – 8:30 p.m. at the North Shore Campus in Grand Marais.  I know Todd and he is an interesting and entertaining expert on North Shore history.  Call 387-3411 if you have questions.  Of course, treats are provided.
 
The second historical gathering is the annual story telling dinner, sponsored by the North Shore Fishing Museum in Tofte and held at Lutsen Resort.  This year the event will feature Adolph Ojard, who is Executive Director of the Seaway Port Authority in Duluth.  Adolph is a Knife River native, who grew up commercial fishing with his grandfather on Lake Superior.  His mother is Marion Torgerson, from the Isle Royale Torgersons.  December 1st is the date and reservations can be made by calling Lutsen Resort at 663-7212.
 
Almost every party returning from the BWCA Wilderness last week reported hearing wolves howl.  We’ve heard them almost every night here at Sawbill as well.  One couple from Michigan heard the wolves howl so close to their campsite, that they were also able to hear the brush rustle as the pack passed by and the sound of them lapping up water from the lake. 
 
Hearing wolves and seeing their sign is one of the signature experiences that draw people to the forest and wilderness.  Sadly, many wolves will be killed next month when the wolf hunting and trapping season begins again after many years of wolves being strictly protected.  I have no objection to hunting or trapping, but I feel strongly that the wolves have more economic value to the local community when they are alive, rather than as a trophy in someone’s den.
 
I always enjoy asking our outfitting guests about what they do for a living.  At an outfitter, it is nearly impossible to guess what people do by looking at them.  One customer, a few years ago, was returning from her trip and was extremely dirty.  Her clothes were filthy, her face was covered with soot and, frankly, she smelled bad.  She was an interesting conversationalist, so I asked her what she did for a living.  She informed me that she was a federal judge.  I was surprised and did a little double take.  She caught it and said, “Does it surprise you that a woman is a federal judge?”  “No”, I replied, “It surprises me that someone so dirty is a federal judge.”  She laughed and said, “You should see me in my robes!”
 
This spring, we had a customer who is an accomplished and well-known trumpet player.  Last week, we had a customer who is an accomplished and well-known trumpet maker.  Besides being genuinely interesting people to meet, I was able to connect them as friends on Facebook and who knows what beautiful music might be the result.  It’s a small world here in the West End.

Photo by Tom Spence, Tofte. 


 
Autumn on the Gunflint Trail (Mike Houge/Flickr)

Wildersmith October 5

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Wow, the sights, sounds and scents of fall on the Gunflint have peaked like none such in recent memory. One’s vision is almost blinded with the iridescence of a brilliant Sol shining through the hot autumn leaves. Equally enchanting are the leaflets that have had their day in the sun and are trickling down like flakes of winter. Adding to the ambiance of our territory is an occasional whiff of border country aroma from flora that is layering the forest floor.
 
This past week has been nothing short of spectacular, with cool nights and warm pleasant days. The only negative to be noted is that the drought throughout the area has extended another week. In fact, there has been absolutely no rain of any amount here at Wildersmith.
 
To say it’s dry around here is more than an understatement. So I’m keeping my wildfire sprinkler system on stand-by as whiffs from previous fires are still making me nervous.
 
Excitement loomed large along the byway as September ended its run last weekend. By “large,” I’m making reference to the splendid “wild rice/harvest” moon! The brilliance of our nighttime luminary was oh so uplifting.
 
Guess I’ve never seen a full lunar experience that wasn’t spectacular, but then again, full moons are like elegant Canadian sunsets: Every time you see one it’s the best ever. That was the feeling of many Gunflint viewers, as they were awed by the dazzling luster over our northern landscape for several nights.
 
Several Indian summer days have reinvigorated some of the bitin’ north woods nasties. Although it has not warranted the use of bug netting, at times the obnoxious nippers have drawn a little blood on yours truly and had me talking to myself. To think that there are black flies buzzing about is almost unheard of this time of year.
 
If this unusual happening isn’t enough, this past summer has seemed to be missing a few of the lower order species of the animal kingdom. It has dawned on me that I have not seen much of several regular crawly critters.
 
Our neighborhood has observed few ladybugs, grasshoppers, fire lies, only an occasional spruce beetle and not one of those scary wolf spiders. Although not having to deal with some of these creepy beings is OK with me, one has to wonder what is going on.
 
With the ongoing effects of atmospheric changes rapidly consuming our universe, could this be a new and forever consequence or just a cyclic effect? I guess we’ll wait and see what the next warm season brings.
 
Another lynx has appeared in and around the Wildersmith neighborhood. My reporting observer indicates that this one was not as large as the feline visitor that prowled about his place a few weeks ago, but nevertheless, was just as inquisitive about scents around his yard.
 
Seasonally, I don’t often see many robins along the Mile O Pine. However, recently there have been numbers of them gathering. They have been hanging out in close proximity to the roadway, and consistently take flight right ahead of one’s approaching vehicle.
 
I’m guessing they could be the lead-in to the feature performance of our pre-winter snow buntings, or it is more likely they are rallying in preparation for their flight southward. Either way, this is a new and different happening for me.
 
Keep on hangin’ on, and I hope you’re savoring this wonderful season!

Airdate: October 5, 2012


 
Knowledge Bowl Coach Dorie Carlson

School News from Cook County Middle School, October 5

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Knowledge Bowl is a Jeopardy-style trivia contest activity for both Cook County Middle School and High School students.  This week in Cook County Middle School News, Knowledge Bowl Coach Dorie Carlson discusses how her middle school team did in its first meet last Tuesday.  Here’s Dorie Carlson with this week’s Cook County Middle School News…


 
Tyler Campbell and Carl Hansen are successful grouse hunters.  Photo by Anna Larson.

West End News: September 27

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It is always a joyful time when a baby is born in the West End.  This week, it was particularly fun to welcome Brookstyn Candice Nordman-Nelson to the community.  According to her grandmother, Lisa Nelson, manager of the Tofte General Store, Brookstyn is already showing extraordinary beauty and intelligence in her first week of life.   Brookstyn has deep roots in the community.  She lives in Schroeder with her parents, Carah Nordman and Dusty Nelson.  Her grandparents, besides Lisa, are Randy Nelson, of Tofte, Sue Nordman, from Grand Marais and Mark Nordman, formerly of Grand Marais.    Most notable of her many other local relatives, is Eileen Netland, of Tofte, who is Brookstyn’s great-great grandmother.  It is not too often that you hear of someone who gets to meet their own great-great grandchild.  Congratulations to all the families involved and a very special congratulation to Eileen.
 
Speaking of the Tofte General Store, it is good to hear that they are almost through the paperwork required to participate in the SNAP program.  SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which is a very important federal and state program that includes food stamps and the women, infants and children program that provides nutritious foods, at low cost, to hard working people who have low incomes.  The SNAP program helps 46 million people every month receive the nutritious food that they need to thrive.  Having the program available in the West End is crucial to the well-being of our residents.  Without a local grocery store that offers SNAP, people are forced to drive long distances or shop at convenience stores that don’t offer much in the way of nutritious staple foods.  If you are interested in SNAP, talk to Lisa at the Tofte General Store.

Saturday, September 29th is a big day in the West End.  Birch Grove is holding a grand opening for the various construction projects that have been going on for the last several months, starting at 2 pm.  There will be speeches, of course, and treats, and lots of opportunity for conversation.  I was particularly pleased to learn that the new wood-fired bread and pizza oven will be dedicated to the memory of Muriel Michaelson.  The skating rink and warming house will be dedicated in honor of Derald and Ginny Storlie.  Derald loved ice-skating with a passion and used to spend a lot of time struggling with the old skating rink to make it usable.  He was actually skating when he died, much to young, from an aneurism. 
 
The Cross River Heritage Center in Schroeder is having a wonderful program about the Hall and Lyght logging families of Lutsen, starting at 1:30 on Saturday the 29th.  If that wasn’t enough, the Superior Cycling Association is cutting the ribbon on the new Britton Peak mountain biking trails at the trailhead, two miles up the Sawbill Trail, in Tofte at 4 pm.  If you plan carefully, I think you could make it to all three events.  In any case, it is wonderful to have so many healthy community events going on at once.  The West End is a great place to live and getting better all the time.
 
While on the subject of a healthy community, remember that the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic is providing flu vaccines in the West End on Wednesday, October 3rd.  The first clinic will be at Moon Dance Coffee Shop in downtown Lutsen from 8:30 until 10 am and then again at Birch Grove from Noon until 1 pm.  There is a small charge for the vaccination.  If you want it charged to your insurance company, bring along your insurance info.
 
Finally, if you want to see beautiful fall foliage, now is the time, as long as you get back in the woods away from the big lake.  I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the color this year.  For a while it looked like the leaves would just dry up and fall off without offering much of a color show.  I’ve seen better years, but the color is really quite vivid right now.  If you like grouse hunting, throw the shotgun in the car because hunting has also been pretty good.