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Community Conversations

First and Third Thursday Conversations air at 7 p.m. on Thursdays (killerturnip/Flickr)

  • 1st and 3rd Thursday 7-8pm
On the first Thursday of every month from 7-8 p.m. WTIP hosts a live interactive conversation on an issue of community importance. Guests are invited into the studio and listeners are invited to call in or email with questions, comments, and concerns. This participatory program is designed to give everyone a voice in the discussion of public affairs issues that shape our community. To participate in the conversation call 218-387-1070 or email us at

On the third Thursday of every month from 7-8 p.m. WTIP's Jay Andersen hosts a one-on-one discussion with a variety of community members.

What's On:
"Creating Your Personal Health Care Directive" on WTIP's First Thursday Community Conversation (Ralf/Flickr)

Next First Thursday Community Conversation: "Creating Your Personal Health Care Directive"

Health Care Directive Form.pdf205.41 KB

There are two things hospitals ask when you’re being admitted – the first is about your insurance, the second is whether you have a health care directive.
Join WTIP’s Jay Andersen on February 7th for a unique and important edition of First Thursday Community Conversation: “Creating Your Personal Health Care Directive” from 6 to 7 p.m.
Dr. Sandy Stover and attorney Leigh Mathison will discuss the importance of a health care directive and how to complete the form.
You can download the Health Care Directive form above, which is provided by the North Shore Health Care Foundation, print it and follow our step-by-step instructions.
If you’ve got questions during the program, you can call us at 387-1070, 800-473-9847 or send an email to
The entire broadcast will be archived so you can refer to it later as you create a health care directive that suits you and reflects your needs and wishes. You’ll also be helping your loved ones at a time when you’re not able to make those critical health decisions on your own.

Kimber Wraalstad

Ski trails, skilled long term care and songs on WTIP’s December edition of Third Thursday Community Conversations

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Ever wonder how all those ski trails happen? As our population ages have you thought about the need for long-term care? What’s it like to write and perform music for 40 years?

WTIP’s Jay Andersen hosts this month’s Third Thursday Community Conversations. You’ll hear from ski trail administrator Michael O’Phelan on what goes into making and keeping all our trails in shape. Hospital administrator Kimber Wraalstad looks at skilled long-term care needs far into the future and musician/performer Michael Monroe reflects back on four decades of making music.

“Skis, seniors and solar-powered songs” on Third Thursday Community Conversations. Only on WTIP North Shore Community Radio.

Care giving

Family caregiving in Cook County is First Thursday for December

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There are approximately 65 million family caregivers in the United States. They spend an average of 20 hours a week taking care of loved ones. But many of them care for a family member with chronic care needs 24-7.

Join  Jay Andersen for WTIP’s First Thursday Community Conversation, “Growing Older, Growing Ill – Caregiving in Cook County.” Our guests include Kay Grindland and Jeannette Lindgren of Cook County Care Partners, Cindy Conkins from the Arrowhead Area Agency on Aging and writer, commentator and caregiver Vicki Biggs Anderson.

They gave valuable information on the assets, opportunities and cautions of caring for an older family member, one who is ill or near the end of life.

Are you currently a family caregiver? Would you know what to do if you suddenly become a care giver? Where will you turn?

“Growing Older, Growing Ill – Caregiving in Cook County” -- this month’s First Thursday Community Conversation. Only on WTIP North Shore Community Radio.

P Palmer_Image from Lawrence University.jpg

Marcia Hyatt interviews author Parker Palmer on November Third Thursday Community Conversation

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Parker Palmer is an author, educator, and activist who focuses on issues in education, community, leadership, spirituality and social change.

He is the featured guest on WTIP's  November edition of Third Thursday Community Conversation. 

Parker  has a thought-provoking discussion with WTIP volunteer Marcia Hyatt about how he became who he is and about how people can work together in community to heal “the heart of democracy.” In 2011, Utne Reader named Parker Palmer as one of "25 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World”

Wedding rings

WTIP airs Marriage Constitutional Amendment discussion

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The ballot question reads, Recognition of Marriage Solely Between One Man and One Woman. Yes or No.  If the measure passes, the language added to the state Constitution will read: “Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota.”
The Minnesota Marriage Constitutional Amendment was the topic of the latest WTIP Forum.  Jay Andersen and a panel of guests on Oct. 25 held an informative discussion of this controversial and timely issue.
The guests included ministers Dale McIntire and EvaLyn Carlson and attorneys Leigh Mathison and Elizabeth Pierce.
The Minnesota Marriage Constitutional Amendment -- Only on WTIP North Shore Community Radio.


Author Beryl Singleton Bissell

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Beryl Singleton Bissell left the monastery to marry a former priest. Soon tragedies followed one after the other and those ensuing years eventually became part of “The Scent of God” – a memoir about love and loss…and hope.

WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with Beryl for the September edition of Third Thursday Community Conversation.

After moving to the North Shore her second book, “A View of the Lake,” told a far different story. She became “a pilgrim.”
 “An Hour with Beryl Singleton Bissell” – September’s Third Thursday Community Conversation. Only on WTIP North Shore Community Radio.


“Building Assets for Kids” -- September's First Thursday on WTIP

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Do your kids talk to you? Bring their concerns home? Do you listen? If so, that’s good news. If not, why not?

Join WTIP’s Jay Andersen  for “Building Assets for Kids,” The September edition of First Thursday Community Conversation. In-studio guests were Dr. Dean Grace, North Shore Collaborative, Rita Plourde, Sawtooth Mountain Clinic and Cook County Probation Officer Steve Borud.

What about peers, friends and after school activities? How adequate are our community resources for young people?

“Building Assets for Kids” -- this month’s First Thursday Community Conversation. Only on WTIP North Shore Community Radio.

North Woods Phenology on this month's First Thursday (Stephan Hoglund)

"Nature of the North Shore" is August's First Thursday topic

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It's high summer on the North Shore, and there's plenty going on in our woods and waters. Young birds and animals are getting used to their surroundings, many plants are in full bloom and the biting bugs are becoming less ferocious. But those of us who live here or frequently visit seem to find something to like about every season, and that's what this month's First Thursday Community Conversation is all about: The Nature of the North Shore.


First Thursday looks at the beginnings of WTIP

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During our North Shore Sights and Sounds membership drive , we brought you lots of sounds you could not have heard before April of 1998. On July 5 we looked back fourteen years to talk about the beginning of WTIP.

Join Jay Andersen and guests for “Starting a Community Radio Station” -- the July special Sights and Sounds member drive edition of First Thursday Community Conversation.

Whose idea was it in the first place? How did WTIP start? What makes it work? We’ll ask some of the station’s founders these questions and more.

Our guests included Mary and Peter Igoe, Mike Raymond, Jeff Nemitz and Bill Burkhart.

“Starting a Community Radio Station” the July  special Sights and Sounds member drive edition of First Thursday Community Conversation. Only on WTIP North Shore Community Radio.

Entry to Visitor Center, Grand Portage State Park. Photo: Bryan Hansel

Two from Grand Portage State Park are Third Thursday guests

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In 1985 Lloyd K. Johnson sold 178 acres of the land adjoining High and Middle Falls on the Pigeon River to the state and donated an additional 129 acres. Finally, in the fall of 1994, Grand Portage State Park was open for business.

Join Jay Andersen for an interesting and informative interview with Grand Portage State Park Manager Rick Novitsky and Park Naturalist Anna Deschampe – on WTIP’s June Third Thursday Community Conversation.

Rick and Anna talk about the traditions, history and culture of Grand Portage, the state park and what the community means to them personally.

Rick Novitsky and Anna Deschampe, the June edition of Third Thursday Community Conversation…only on WTIP North Shore Community radio.