West End News: October 3

Cook County Higher Education
Cook County Higher Education

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I am a huge fan of Cook County Higher Education. It’s the little college with the big heart that allows people in Cook County to pursue degrees and certificates without having to leave the county. 
 
Last week, Higher Ed announced an exciting new scholarship program funded by the Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation.  The new program will provide significant scholarships to potentially dozens of people who want to pursue higher education, but have been held back by financial barriers.
 
Lloyd K. Johnson was a Cook County native who was the first in his family to go to college.  He graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School and was the Cook County Attorney for a few years.  After a move to Duluth, he became a very successful businessman, which gave him the wherewithal to establish the Johnson Foundation.  Now, years after Lloyd’s death, his foundation is making it possible for many Cook County residents to receive the blessing of a good education.
 
If you are worried about your ability to attend college in the midst of a busy working life, talk to the wonderful folks at Higher Ed.  They’ve done it themselves and have helped hundreds and hundreds of your neighbors improve their lives through education.  They will walk you through it, step by step, helping you with whatever you need, academically and financially, right through graduation.
 
By the way, Higher Ed has two other well-established scholarship programs: The Wes Hedstrom Scholarship and the North Shore Health Care Foundation Scholarship. 
 
The Johnson Foundation also has a separate scholarship program for Cook County High School seniors who want to attend Lake Superior College in Duluth.
 
You can get information on all of these exciting opportunities by calling Kristin or Paula at Higher Ed.  Their number is 387-3411.  You can find them online by searching Cook County Minnesota Higher Education.  Or, you can always contact WTIP and we will put you in touch.
 
A big congratulations to Ailee Larson of Lutsen who was named Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference athlete of the week, after winning a big collegiate cross-country meet last week.  She placed first among 147 runners.  Ailee is a student at St. Kate’s and is the daughter of Jana and Mike Larson of Lutsen.
 
I am thoroughly disgusted by the federal government shutdown this week.  There are many things wrong with our political system at the moment, but there are three main things that, in my opinion, are seriously wrong.
 
First, the radical Tea Party strategy to hold the country and world hostage in order to defeat laws that have been passed, signed, tested by the Supreme Court and enjoy majority support of the electorate is an attack on democracy itself.  Majority rule is the basis of our civil society.  Ultimatums and blackmail are never productive.
 
Second, extremely rich individuals and corporations, who have only their own narrow interests at heart, are funding these hostage takers, with no public accountability.  The unfair advantage created by unlimited and untraceable money in our political system has led to ridiculous gerrymandering of congressional districts that allows many representatives to disregard the voters.
 
Third, the people who are hurt the most by this insanity are our friends and neighbors here in Cook County.  They are the working people who take care of our campgrounds, maintain our roads, prepare our timber sales, protect us from forest fire, and the list goes on.  That these sincere and hard-working Americans are taking the brunt of a childish temper tantrum by a do-nothing minority of the most ineffective Congress in the history of the country makes my blood boil.


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