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West End News Dec. 23, 2009

Fresh snow brightened the north shore landscape
Fresh snow brightened the north shore landscape

WestEnd_20091224.mp35 MB

There is good news about the matching fund for the challenge grant made by the Grand Marais State Bank for the Birch Grove Foundation. As I write this the Birch Grove community is within five hundred dollars of meeting the challenge. The deadline is Dec. 31. So near and yet so far.

On Monday, the shortest day of the year, we finally got a start on a decent snowfall. Three to four inches total was about what fell, both along the Shore and in the high back country of the West End. Not a great amount, but it is enough to let folks with brand new snow blowers and plow trucks plow with dignity.

Time does flip by when you are not looking. I can scarcely believe that I have been writing and broadcasting the West End News on WTIP for more than a year. Off and on for most of my career I have written columns and done broadcasting in a variety of settings.

This is the first time that the column is both printed online and also broadcast on WTIP community radio. Not only that, but I have discovered that all kinds of relationships lead folks to tune in WTIP from all over the world. Cabin owners, vacation visitors, residents living temporarily or permanently out of the area listen regularly and read the web page.

All of this produces an entirely different feeling for me than an isolated written column or a broadcast. The folks who consider themselves part of the West End Community are clearly spread far and wide; but still enjoy maintaining contact with their home community. 

The set up provided by WTIP makes this more possible than ever. What used to be an occasional letter has turned into real time contact.

It is a lot of fun to be part of all this. The best part is the cooperation that is extended to me by the West End folks. I am grateful that our folks feel free to phone or e-mail when they have items for me to include in my broadcast. The West End goes with the flow.

As we enter the new year let us hope that not only the West End, but that the rest of the county, state, nation and world will begin to adopt the same attitudes toward getting along with each other that we do so well in the West End.

Let us hope for a peaceful and profitable 2010.