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North Shore Morning

AM Community Calendar/photo by masochismtango on Flickr

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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!

 


What's On:
White Pine "Topping"

West End News: May 28

 
For the last year, our Sawtooth Mountain and Grand Portage Clinics have been cooperating the Minnesota Department of Health on study of mercury exposure from eating fish in Cook County. 
 
Several years ago, it came to light that newborn babies on the North Shore have a higher level of mercury in their blood than newborns in the rest of the Midwest.  The current study is aimed at learning the fish eating habits of women in their childbearing years along the North Shore.
 
The study, which started last May, is attempting to interview and test the blood of 500 women, ages 16 to 50, before the end of June.  Although this seems like an ambitious goal, they have already tested more than 450 women, so the goal of 500 is definitely within reach.
 
If you decide to participate, you just schedule a short visit at the clinic in Grand Marais or Grand Portage.  You will be interviewed and a small amount of blood will be drawn.  You will learn the level of mercury and fatty acid in your bloodstream.  An important part of the study is learning the methods for eating fish in the healthiest way. 
 
All information will be kept strictly confidential.  You do not have to eat fish to participate.  All participants who complete the study receive a $50 Visa card.
 
This is an important study that will lead to healthier lives for all of our children, so please help to reach the goal of 500 participants.  I would, if I were eligible!
 
To schedule your appointment, call Sawtooth Mountain Clinic at 387-2330 or Grand Portage Clinic at 475-2235.
 
If you haven’t stopped in to the Birch Grove Community Center in Tofte recently, you owe it to yourself to pay a visit.  The place has evolved into a vital gathering spot for the whole West End.  The building and facilities look good and a wide variety of opportunities and programming for West Enders of all ages is offered.  Wood fired pizza parties, community and senior lunches, fitness equipment, a lending library, farm fresh produce, pickle ball, community education classes and the list goes on and on.
 
If you have an idea for something you want to see at Birch Grove, talk to director Caroline Wood or one of the board members.  This vital community resource belongs to all of us, from Silver Bay to Grand Marais and beyond, so stop by and take a look.  I guarantee that you’ll find something to like.
 
According to a new report from the Minnesota think tank, Growth and Justice, income inequality in Minnesota is wide and growing.  The percentage of all income going to the richest one percent is the highest that it’s been since the 1920s.  Today the richest one percent of Americans own more than 40% of the nation’s wealth.
 
The brand new report, which you can see at growthandjustice.org, offers a look at Minnesota income inequality county by county. 
 
For Cook County, it is the proverbial good news, bad news scenario. 
 
The good news is that Cook County’s median income is right in the middle as compared to the statewide average.  Although average may not sound that good, we are actually much better off, income-wise, than other small, rural Minnesota counties.
 
The bad news is that we are among the highest Minnesota counties in income disparity.  This should be no surprise to anyone who understands the financial geography of Cook County.
 
In my opinion, the current level of income inequality is unnatural and unfair.  It’s not the result of free market forces, but the outcome of more than 40 years of so called trickle down economic theory.  It’s well past time to abandon that failed policy, get the big money out of politics and return to a system that fairly compensates people for their work. 
 
I sense that most employers in Cook County would like to pay their employees better, but competition keeps them from doing it on their own.  This is problem that needs to be solved at the national level.  We all need to keep this in mind during the next election.
 
The Forest Service has been doing a lot of work in the wilderness now that weather has turned summer-like.  On Wonder Lake, which was hit hard by the blow-down in ’99, they were concerned about some giant old white pines with dead tops.  They were afraid that if the tops broke off, they could potentially land in a campsite.  Normally, they would just cut down the hazardous trees.  This time though, they brought in some firefighters who have been trained in the art of topping trees.  They climbed the mighty pines and cut the tops off, leaving the magnificent tree for people and wildlife to enjoy.
 
My hat is off to people with the skill for that kind of work.  You just never know what kind of unique people we have here in the West End.
 
For WTIP, this is Bill Hansen with the West End News.
 
 
 

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Paddling to Sunrise by Dawn LaPointe, Hermantown, MN

Johnson Heritage Post opening: Fire and Ice, May 29

WTIP volunteer Tracy Benson speaks with director Don Davison about the Johnson Heritage Post and their new photography exhibit ‘Fire and Ice, No Ordinary Landscape’.  The opening reception is Friday May 29th from 5 to 7pm.  Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday 10am to 4pm; and Sundays and Mondays 1 to 4pm.  More information online.
 
 

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{Robyn Lee / Flickr}

FISH project approaching enrollment deadline

WTIP volunteers Yvonne Mills and Mary Manning, two FISH project enrollees, spoke with Joyce Klees of the FISH project on North Shore Morning­.  The purpose of the project is to help women and their families enjoy the benefits of eating fish while lowering their exposure to mercury.  
The FISH Project is a joint effort of the Minnesota Department of Health and the Environmental Protection Agency.  Local partners include the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic, Grand Portage Health Service, Grand Portage Trust Lands, and the North Shore Hospital.
More information about the Project is available from the clinic at 387-2330; or at Grand Portage Health Service, 475-2235; ask for a fish coordinator.  
 

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a new season at Chik-Wauk

Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center is now open for its sixth season.  WTIP's Jana Berka spoke with new site manager Bonnie Schudy The Museum is open daily, from 10am to 5pm, through October 18th.  More information at 388-9915 or online.
 

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Reducing the stigma of mental illness

"Make it OK" is a campaign to reduce the stigma of mental illness, promote open discussion, and encourage people to seek support when needed.  WTIP’s Veronica Weadock spoke with Public Health Coordinator Joni Kristenson and Social Services Supervisor Grace Bushard of Public Health and Human Services.  More information at 387-3620 or makeitok.org.

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Great Decisions meeting: Privacy in the Digital Age, May 21

‘Privacy in the Digital Age’ will be the topic at this month’s Great Decisions meeting, Thursday May 21 at noon at the Cook County Community Center.  WTIP volunteer Barb Rawitzer spoke with discussion leader Bill Christ on North Shore Morning.  Copies of the briefing book are available for use at the Grand Marais Public Library.  

 

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Woodcock

Sunny's Back Yard: A Chubby Little Bird

The American woodcock is a spring visitor in the north woods...a chubby little bird with a distinctive call and courtship display.

Sunny has lived off-grid in rural Lake County for the past 17 years and is a regular commentator on WTIP. Here she shares what's been happening in Sunny's Back Yard.

(Photo by Biodiversity Heritage Library on Flickr)

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{Insidestory /Flickr}

Bike Commuting, Cook County Style, May 13

The Cook County YMCA hosts a Wednesday Night Wellness Series.  This month Moving Matters joins them for ‘Bike Commuting: Cook County Style’.  Folks that already commute by bike will share strategies and solutions.  RSVPs requested to the Y at 387-3386.  WTIP volunteer Mark Abrahamson spoke with Maren Webb of Moving Matters on North Shore Morning.
 

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Peter Mayer in concert, Saturday May 16

The North Shore Music Association hosts Peter Mayer in concert this weekend at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts.  WTIPs Jana Berka spoke with Kate Fitzgerald of the North Shore Music Association on North Shore Morning.  Tickets available at the door or in advance at tix.com.  Peter's website is petermayer.net.

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Minnesota State Capitol {MCAD Library /Flickr}

'Indians and Public Art: Changing the Image' reception May 14

‘Indians and Public Art: Changing the Image’ is now open at the Grand Portage Community Center.  A reception with the artists is Thursday May 14th from 3 to 5pm. WTIP volunteer Julie Carlson spoke with art instructor Belle Janicek about the young artists and the larger project.  More information from Belle at Oshki Ogimaag at 475-2112.

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