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Community Conversations

  • 1st, 3rd and 5th 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


What's On:

Community Conversation features Dave and Amy Freeman's Year in the Wilderness

On September 23, 2015, Dave and Amy Freeman embarked on a year-long adventure in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Their hope is to protect the Boundary Waters from proposed sulfide-ore copper mining on the Wilderness edge, and to teach people about the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.  They expect to travel more than 3,000 miles by canoe and dog team, and explore more than 500 lakes and streams throughout the year.

This month's Community Conversation features highlights from Dave and Amy's Year in the Wilderness, with hosts Joe Friedrichs and Jay Andersen.

(Photo courtesy of Dave and Amy Freeman's Facebook page)



Lake Superior pollution is WTIP conversation topic

Everyone knows water runs downhill.

Around here we assume that what’s on the land eventually runs into Lake Superior – agricultural and residential pesticides, phosphorus from various sources, silt and more. But these are contaminants we can see. What is not available to the naked eye is just as important to the health of the big lake – perhaps even more.

Join WTIP’s Jay Andersen for a special Thursday Conversation called “Critical Chemistry: The invisible invasion of Lake Superior.”

Studio guests are Grand Portage biologist Dr. Seth Moore, botanist and author Chel Anderson, and MPCA water analysis and watershed specialist Mark Ferrey.

 “Critical Chemistry: The invisible invasion of Lake Superior.” Thursday Community Conversation, only on WTIP North Shore Community Radio.




“Wildlife in your Viewfinder” is June First Thursday

How do they get those great photographs of birds and animals? How come my shots never turn out like that?

If you’ve ever asked yourself those questions, join WTIP’s Jay Andersen. For the June edition of First Thursday Community Conversation. Four noted wildlife photographers share their professional tips and some of their memorable experiences photographing wildlife.

Paul Sundberg, Dave Brislance, Tom Spence and Travis Novitsky share their knowledge and experiences with you. “Wildlife in your Viewfinder,” is the subject of First Thursday Community Conversation. Only on WTIP North Shore Community Radio.

Check out images at these sites:




Community Conversations: The Pie Place Cafe and Cookbook

Carl Solander talks to Jeremy and Plaumy Chase, owners of the Pie Place Cafe, as well as Kathy Rice, author of the Pie Place Cookbook.



Coordinating economic development is WTIP First Thursday topic

Recent surveys show most Cook County residents are in favor of economic development, as long as it keeps the local flavor and doesn't do damage to the character of the place. Obviously these criteria mean different things to different people.

Join WTIP’s Jay Andersen for First Thursday Community Conversation. We’ll bring together in the studio representatives from the city, county, Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Authority to exchange perspectives on growing our community while retaining our character.

What is sustainable economic development? What does it mean to the county board and its agencies? What does it mean to the City of Grand Marais. Are they even talking to one another?

“First Thursday Community Conversation – sustainable economic development.” Only on WTIP North Shore Community Radio.




The budget crunch at ISD166 is April’s Third Thursday Conversation

Cook County Schools, ISD166 is considering a second attempt for an operating levy referendum scheduled for Election Day, November 8th. If they do, the District will need to win voter approval or be forced to cut as much as $500,000 from the school’s budget.

The cost of educating students continues to increase regardless of whether or not the enrollment numbers go up, down or stay even. A combination of factors leaves the District in the position of having to make budget reductions for the coming school year that will likely be felt for years to come.




Septic System Compliance is First Thursday Topic for April

The Cook County shoreland septic compliance program was suspended due to a backlog of cases and adjustments of the compliance standards. The county has been working through existing cases and will review the process once a compliance program begins again.
What’s new and what’s the same with the shoreland septic compliance program?

Join WTIP’s Jay Andersen for First Thursday Community Conversation when we talk about all the implications and obligations with Tim Nelson, Cook County Planning and Zoning Officer, Commissioner Heidi Doo-Kirk, County Administrator Jeff Cadwell and Cook County Attorney Molly Hicken.

“Septic System Compliance – what’s new and what’s the same?” First Thursday Community Conversation, only on WTIP North Shore Community radio.




Community Conversation: Curtis Gagnon discusses American Indian Treaty Rights, traditions and spiritual values

Back in 1984, Grand Portage Band Member Curtis Gagnon shot a moose at the right time and in the wrong place. The story of what happened after that covers a wide variety of topics including hunting laws, American Indian Treaty Rights, customs, traditions and spiritual values, and our relationship with each other as people.

WTIP volunteer Roger Linehan talked with Curtis about the moose whose death ultimately helped the Anishinaabe people and the impact it had on all of us.

(Photo courtesy of Alex Butterfield on Flickr)



Michael Monroe on WTIP's Third Thursday Community Conversation

For February WTIP presents a “Cabin Fever” Member Drive edition of Third Thursday Community Conversation with Jay Andersen and Deb Benedict.

Jay visits with a well-known local musician, who has lived in small cabins, works in a cabin and is currently escaping Cabin Fever right now. Our February community conversation is with Michael Monroe.

A couple of weeks previous to the broadcast, Jay sat down with Michael to talk about his music, his process, his current project and what lies ahead for this very productive singer/songwriter.




“Projection and Reflection – nonprofits” is WTIP’s February First Thursday

This is the time when organizations, governments and agencies review the year past and look to the year ahead. In January we talked with representatives from the city, county and EDA.

This time, WTIP’s Jay Andersen gathered representatives from some of the prominent Cook County non-profits for First Thursday Community Conversation, when we ask a host of non-profit representatives to look back on 2015 and predict what lies ahead in 2016.

What did we do right and what could we have done better? What challenges and opportunities wait for us in the coming year?

“Projection and Reflection” – nonprofits look forward and back” is February’s  First Thursday Community Conversation…only on WTIP North Shore Community radio.