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North Shore Morning

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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!

 


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Superior National Forest Update: July 17

Hi.  I’m Steve Robertsen, Interpretation and Education Specialist, with this week’s edition of the National Forest Update  -  information on conditions affecting travel and recreation on the Tofte and Gunflint Districts of the Forest. For the week of July 17th, here’s what’s going on in the Forest.
I know there are a lot of photographers out there because I see wonderful photos posted every week online.  You now have an excellent opportunity to share some of those photos nationally.  You can participate in the “Share the Experience:  Official Federal Recreation Lands 2015 Photo Contest”.  Rules and information are available at district offices and on the Forest’s website at www.fs.usda.us/superior.gov.  Your photo could be chosen to be featured on the national Federal Recreational Lands Pass… and there’s over $30,000 in prizes and cash to be awarded as well.  While you’re at it, we are always looking for good photos to share on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.  You can send photos to Ali Bickford at ambickford@fs.fed.us.  Please put “Photos of Superior” and your name on the subject line, and retitle the image file with a descriptive name.  You can also upload photos to the Superior National Forest Photo Club on Flicker.  Note that this won’t enter you in the contest, you’ll have to do the entry separately, and submitted photos become part of the public domain, so cannot have a copyright watermark.
Getting to places to take photos should be pretty easy.  Our sporadic rains have kept the dust down on roads, but haven’t been heavy enough to cause any damage.  There is washboarding on some roads, but grading is taking place to smooth them down.  If you are on a washboarded road, slow down.  Washboarding can cause your tires to lose contact with the road at higher speeds, even if your suspension is keeping you nice and level in your seat.  You may not notice the lack of contact on a straight, but when you get to a corner, you’ll suddenly be drifting off the roadway, so just slow down.
On your trip, you could also run into logging traffic on the Greenwood Lake Road and Gunflint Trail, as well as possibly on the Bally Creek Road, Pine Mountain Road, Caribou Trail, The Grade, Sawbill Trail, the Four Mile Grade, Lake County 7, Dumbbell River Road, and the Wanless Road. 
This may be a good weekend to learn more about our namesake Lake Superior.  It is Lake Superior Days in Duluth at the Maritime Museum, and the Forest Service will be present at a booth during the event.  You may wonder what a three million acre forest has to do with a 20 million acre lake, but we are connected physically through our waterways, environmentally through animals such as lake trout that spawn in forest rivers and live in the lake, and historically through the use of the lake as a travel route and as a means of shipping forest resources such as timber and minerals. 
Some of you might be headed away from the city into the wilderness instead.  Remember that you always need an entry permit to enter the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.  If you are day tripping, you can pick up a self-issued permit at the entry point.  Just fill it out, put one copy in the box and keep the other copy with you.  This helps us track wilderness use and make informed decisions on wilderness management.  If you are staying overnight, you’ll need a permit issued by the Forest Service for the entry point and date on which you plan on entering the BWCAW.  This helps spread visitors out over the area and time so everyone has a good wilderness experience.
Wherever your travels take you, have a great weekend, and enjoy the Forest.  Until next week, this has been Steve Robertsen with the Superior National Forest Update. 
 

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Bode, the formerly lost dog

West End News: July 16

It is not much of a surprise, but upsetting nonetheless, to hear Minnesota Power announce the permanent closing of their coal-fired power plant in Schroeder.  To their credit, the utility has been preparing the community for this announcement for several years. 
 
There will be a lot of talk about who is at fault for the closing, but the bottom line is that the power plant has been left behind by the modern world, just like any other outdated technology.
 
However, the pain felt by the community and the people who work at the plant is real and immediate.  Some of the employees will retire. Some will take Minnesota Power up on their offer to relocate to another facility.  But a significant number, who have deep roots and other commitments in Cook and Lake Counties, will be forced to change careers – which is a difficult task in this part of the world.
 
On the positive side, Minnesota Power plans to keep the plant in reserve for another few years, which will require some people to keep up with routine maintenance and security. The decommissioning and deconstruction of the huge industrial site will provide some jobs for quite a few years after that. 
 
With its access to rail service, the power grid and a deep-water port, hopefully a new line of business can be developed at Taconite Harbor that will provide significant jobs into the future.
 
It strikes me as a perfect location for a large solar power facility, perhaps paired with a large greenhouse/fish farm operation.  In any case, we’ll have to put on our thinking caps and make the best of a bad situation.
 
Several other news items caught my eye this week. 
 
The first is a document put together by the nonprofit group Water Legacy.  They prepared it as a petition to the Environmental Protection Agency to intervene with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.  The nearly 500 pages of official documents form a devastating indictment of how the mining industry in Minnesota has managed to avoid meeting even the most basic water quality standards over the last twenty or more years.
 
Water Legacy’s investigation makes it clear that the mining industry has used its considerable political clout to essentially make up its own rules, resulting in significant damage to public rivers and lakes.
 
The second news item that caught my eye is a report that lobbyists spent almost 70 million dollars this year to influence the Minnesota Legislature.  That is more than $320,000 per legislator in a single year. 
 
The third news item was the release of a timetable for the Polymet Corporation to begin a huge new mining operation near Hoyt Lakes in the Lake Superior watershed.  The Polymet executives have repeatedly said that they plan to fully comply with Minnesota’s water quality regulations.
 
I leave it to you to draw your own conclusions about how these news items might, or might not, be related.
 
Bode, the dog from Minneapolis who has been on the loose around Sawbill for the last few weeks, has finally been captured and returned to his owners. 
 
Bode became spooked during a thunderstorm near Burnt Lake in the BWCA Wilderness and ran off from his owners, who had only recently adopted him from a dog rescue organization.  He was spotted every few days since then, but was too skittish to be captured.
 
He finally walked into a campsite at the Nine Mile Lake Campground, more than 25 miles from Burnt Lake.  A woman in the campsite grabbed his collar, thinking he belonged to another party in the campground.  Bode’s dog tags led them to the true owner and the saga of Bode concludes with a happy ending.  Bode’s owners have asked me to thank everyone who helped them over the last few weeks and expressed their gratitude for all the support and concern they received from the good people of the West End.
 
 
 

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North House instructor Jo Wood offers class on 'Bead Embroidery' July 25-26

North House Folk School instructor Jo Wood will offer a "Bead Embroidery" class on July 25 and 26. WTIP volunteer Tracy Benson spoke with Jo about the class on North Shore Morning. 

More information and registration available online at North House Folk School, or by calling 387-9762.

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Tofte Township news

The Tofte Township Board had its regular monthly meeting on Thursday, July 9. WTIP host Tracy Benson spoke with Tofte Township Supervisor Jeanne Larson.  

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"Moon Over Buffalo" opens July 16 at Arrowhead Center for the Arts

“Moon Over Buffalo” is a comic play set in Buffalo, New York, in the 1950s and will open July 16 as part of the Grand Marais Playhouse Summer Festival. WTIP volunteer Mark Abrahamson spoke with Marcia Hyatt and Jan Healy of the Playhouse on North Shore Morning.  

For more information call 218-387-1284 or go to Arrowhead Center for the Arts.

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Annual Gunflint Trail Canoe Races set for July 15

The Gunflint Trail Canoe Races are an annual fundraiser for the Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department. WTIP volunteer Julie Carlson spoke with Bruce Kerfoot about the 2015 Gunflint Trail Canoe Races on North Shore Morning. 
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The Gunflint Trail Canoe Races are Wednesday, July 15, from 4 to 7:30 pm on the Gunflint Lodge waterfront.  All proceeds benefit the Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department.

Gunflint Lodge Waterfront
143 S. Gunflint Lake
Grand Marais, MN 55604

For more information contact:
Julie Henricksson, the Gunflint Trail Canoe Races Committee at 218-388-2246
 

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Foreclosure Prevention program offered through AEOA

The Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency (AEOA) is offering a Foreclosure Prevention Assistance Program to help homeowners explore options when facing a foreclosure situation. North Shore Morning host Julie Carlson spoke with Carol Gehrke of the AEOA on North Shore Morning.
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For more information contact:

Carol Gehrke
(218) 735-6826
(800) 662-5711 ext. 6826
carol.gehrke@aeoa.org
 

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"I Love You, You're Perfect! Now Change!" opens July 17 at Arrowhead Center for the Arts

"I Love You, You're Perfect! Now Change!" is a musical production opening Friday, July 17, at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts. WTIP volunteer Julie Carlson spoke with Mark Abrahamson, Rose Arrowsmith DeCoux, Jackson Nickolay, Karina Roth and Kay Costello on North Shore Morning. 
 
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The Grand Marais Playhouse presents the 2015 Summer Theater Festival opening this weekend.  "I Love You, You're Perfect! Now Change!" plays in repertory with "Moon Over Buffalo" from July 16 through August 9. More information is available from Sue at 387-1284, extension 2, or from the Grand Marais Playhouse website.

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Boreal chickadee

Field Notes: Boreal chickadee

Field Notes with Molly Hoffman can be heard every Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning between 8:00 and 10:00.  Support for Field Notes comes from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

(Photo by Julio Mulero on Flickr)

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Photo by Travis Novitsky

Dr. Seth Moore: Grand Portage hopes to study micropollutants in area waters

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 scenic 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. 

In this segment, we’ll hear about a recent grant proposal to study micropollutants in bodies of water within the Grand Portage Trust Lands.

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