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North Shore Morning

AM Community Calendar/photo by masochismtango on Flickr

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News & Information

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:

Grand Marais continues to learn place and value of vacation rentals

The issue of vacation-rental properties in Grand Marais has been a hot topic of discussion this year. WTIP News Reporter Joe Friedrichs takes a closer look at this issue. 

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The Fomalhaut System {NASA/P Kalas via Flickr}

Northern Sky: October 31

Deane Morrison is a science writer at the University of Minnesota. She authors the Minnesota Starwatch column, and contributes to WTIP bi-weekly on the Monday North Shore Morning program through "Northern Sky," where she shares what's happening with stars, planets and more.

Halloween, one of the cross quarter days; Fomalhaut, a near neighbor of the sun; and more action in the morning sky.

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Wildersmith on the Gunflint: October 30

The Gunflint October is idling in neutral as month eleven is about to slip into gear. Most days of the past week our weather has taken on a November look with more gray than blue overhead along with bone chilling winds.

Although temps have not been bitterly cold, one has the feeling “old man winter” is about to rise from his recliner with a dose of something soon. Summer/fall has passed on and November will be slipping across the border in a couple days. It won’t be long until permanent skims will be glazing area lakes and ponds as water temps are heading south rapidly on these leaden tinted, cool days.

This neighborhood received another meager ration of rain over the past seven segments. Again, there was less than a half inch in my rain gauge, but it’s doing the right thing in regard to soaking the ground. Murky clouds and cool air don’t allow for much drying out this time of year. So this is good for all things needing to freeze damp.

Meanwhile, as the tamaracks are dusting off the last of their golden needles, and with Halloween at hand, long-time Gunflint residents are holding their breath so to speak in hope a storm the likes of 1991 doesn’t throw a ghostly white blanket over trick or treat activities. For those who weren’t a part of the “beggars” time dropping, this territory received upwards of 40+ inches of white 24 years ago at this time. Not living here myself back then, it’s hard for me to grasp snow to such a depth falling at one interval.

Ghosts and goblins will be trekking about the county this year on the heels of the Ojibwe “falling leaves” moon. Having made its tenth appearance of the year this past Tuesday, his “lunar highness” will still be lighting the way and creating frightful shadows behind trillions of timber beings.

Although few youngsters live, or venture from town out this way, everyone is urged to be on the look-out for the little masked creatures darting across roads and driveways. Let's make it a safe and sweet end to October.

Although I receive many comments on moose sightings, it’s been some time since yours truly has come upon one of our dwindling iconic herd. However, my moose observation fortunes got a boost a few days ago.

While traveling up toward end of the Trail, near Seagull Fishing Camp, a huge bull emerged from a swampy domain and crossed right in front of my vehicle. It was not a close call from a collision point of view, but heart stopping nonetheless. Slowing to watch as it trudged off into the forest one direction, a peek the other way, found another of similar enormousness munching some swamp water goodies.

I had to wonder if I might have barely missed out on a battle for the engagement of a fair moose maiden between the one now on my right and the other to my left. It would surely seem the two were not sharing cordial greetings about where the girls are. Whatever the case, like yes, there is a Santa Claus, a few moose are still out and about.

The next day while talking with a local gal about my sighting, she shared observing a pair of bulls in the same location just hours earlier. Perhaps it was the same pair. If so, maybe they’re DNA brothers, then again, territorial issues just might not have been settled before my interruption of the previous day. And yet, could there be four of the big guys in the same neighborhood? It’s “Moose Madness” deja vu.

A timely reminder comes your way as we return to true “sun time” this coming Sunday morning. “Falling back” from another of mankind's manipulations, don’t forget to reset those clocks before you go to bed Saturday evening.

Also be advised to start digging out the “blaze orange” gear as the rifle season on deer opens next Saturday. Sharing the woods with amorous crazed deer and excited hunters can be dangerous, be prepared!

This is Fred Smith, on the Trail, at Wildersmith! The express of November is cruising into this idyllic Gunflint territory, right on schedule!

(Photo by Gary Siesennop)

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Sonny Meyers

Anishinaabe Way: The Inherent Right of Sovereignty, Part 2

Article 11 of the Treaty of 1854 provides for the retained rights to hunting, fishing and gathering of resources in lands ceded by Anishinaabe tribes in 1854.

Sonny Meyers, the Director of the 1854 Treaty Authority, and Grand Portage Tribal Chair Norman Deschampe, explain the meaning of ceded territory in exchange for retained rights and how tribal resource management differs from the State of Minnesota's approach to resource management.

Director Meyers also stresses the importance of educating the public and local officials about treaty rights and reflects on public perceptions about the "tribal take" versus the "tribal give."
 

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Superior National Forest Update: October 30

Hi.  I’m Chris Beal, wildlife biologist for the Gunflint and Tofte Ranger Districts, with a Halloween edition of the National Forest Update  -  information on conditions affecting travel and recreation here on the east side of the Superior National Forest. For the week of October 30, here’s what’s going on in the Forest.
It’s Halloween this weekend!  We don’t expect many ghouls and goblins in the forest, but you never know.  Watch out for those trick or treaters around town though, they may be haunting the place all night.
In the woods, keep an eye open for hunters.  Rifle deer season will be opening on November 7th, and if you haven’t started already, now is the time to wear orange when out for a hike.  On the other end of the rifle, hunters should always practice gun safety and wait for a clear shot of an identifiable target before pulling the trigger.
Other people who you might see in the woods are those gathering balsam boughs for wreaths.  It may be scary to think about Christmas at Halloween, but wreath makers are buying or collecting boughs right now.  If you are harvesting boughs, you may collect a limited amount for personal use, but you will need a permit for larger amounts and commercial use.  Check our website for details on permit requirements and for information on how to collect balsam boughs in a sustainable way.  Remember too that collection of ground pine and Princess Pine is not allowed anywhere on the Forest.
Speaking of Christmas, winter weather is approaching.  It’s been a while since any of us have driven on snow and ice, so take it easy when that first snowstorm hits.  This last bit of warm weather is a good time to outfit your car with winter emergency equipment and get yourself and your vehicle ready for six months of hard water.
The fire crews will still be burning piles as weather permits, so you may see some smoke from those fires.  It is still worthwhile to report smoke, our offices will know where pile burning is taking place and be able to tell if it is a wildfire or one of our burn piles.
There are some active timber harvests going on this week.  On the Tofte side, expect to see logging traffic on FR 369 and FR 380 near Sawbill Landing.  There is also activity north of Whitefish Lake; so trucks will be hauling timber on FR 348, FR 170, and Lake County 7.  Finally, there are operations north of Plouff Creek, with hauling on FR 1238, Cook County 2, and The Grade.
On the Gunflint district, hauling is taking place on Greenwood Road, Firebox Road, Shoe Lake Road, the Old Greenwood Road, the South Brule River Road, the Lima Grade, and the Gunflint Trail.
In the spirit of Halloween, we are helping with a national effort to set a Guiness World Record for number of bat houses built in day.  Join us from 3 to 6 pm at the AmericInn in Silver Bay to make a bat house that you can take home.  This program was made possible by a donation of lumber from Hedstrom’s Lumber Mill, and with the cooperation of Tettegouche State Park, Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center, the AmericInn Silver Bay, and Bat Conservation International.  Supplies are limited.
Have a good and scary Halloween!  Until next week, this has been Chris Beal with the National Forest Update.
 

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Great Expectations Charter School

School News from Great Expectations: October 29

Keenan and Sylvia report the latest School News.

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Adult female rusty blackbird

Field Notes: Rusty blackbird

Field Notes with Molly Hoffman can be heard every Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning between 8:00 and 10:00 from April through October. Support for Field Notes comes from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

(Photo courtesy of Seabrooke Leckie on Flickr)

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Lutefisk!

West End News: October 29

The umpteenth annual Lutefisk and Ham Dinner at Zoar Lutheran Church in Tofte is scheduled for Saturday, November 14, from 5-7 pm.  This very popular fundraiser has deep roots, going back to the arrival of the original Norwegian immigrants on the North Shore.  In fact, it really goes back to pre-historic Scandinavia when fish had to be preserved for longer periods of time than simple drying would allow.
 
Lutefisk is dried cod fish that is soaked in a lye mixture for two days at which point it is dangerously corrosive.  An additional 5 days of soaking in cold water, changed daily, makes it edible – at least according to some people.
 
The directions for making lutefisk specifically warn against leaving it in the lye mixture for too long because saponification of the fish fats may occur.  This led me to Wikipedia where I learned that saponification is the process that produces soap, usually from fats and lye.  Saponification is a great vocabulary word, but not one that you usually see in a recipe.
 
Of course, the most notorious fact about lutefisk is - what I will politely call - its “distinctive” odor.  The taste is surprisingly mild though, especially when slathered with melted butter.  The mouth feel is a bit strange.  Think fish-flavored Jello and you’ll be close.  If lutefisk isn’t for you, the good cooks at Zoar make plenty of ham, which is an equally traditional dish for Norwegian-Americans. 
 
This year, for the first time, the church is asking people to make reservations for the dinner and the number of diners will be limited to 100.  All you have to do is call the church at 663-7925 to leave a message with your name and how many people you are bringing.  You can pay the night of the dinner.
 
This is a quick reminder to return your ballots for the general operating school levy referendum before November 3. You can also vote in person on November 3 at the courthouse in Grand Marais.
 
The West End lost two of its most vivid citizens this month.
 
Rob McCampbell died at home in Tofte on October 19.  Since moving to Tofte, Rob spent most of his years at his beautiful cabin on Pancore Lake.  When the Cross River Café was still in business in Schroeder, Rob was a regular, driving all the way down from Pancore to hang out with his friends.  He had an outgoing personality that served him well as he developed a retirement business of selling Turkish rugs.  He ran the Uhller ski lift at the hill for several years.  He would keep detailed and interesting conversations going with multiple people as they cycled through the lift, demonstrating his keen mind and sharp wit.  He was deeply in love with his wife, Perihan.
 
Bernie Sajdak, from Schroeder, died on October 18.  Bernie was a renaissance man with a brilliant mind and a wide range of practical skills.  He did many jobs through his life, including a busy lawn care business most recently.  Bernie also planted many thousands of trees on contract with the Forest Service.  He was an unstoppable tree planter, who loved to work long hours alone.  For many years afterward, he would visit his planting areas to check on their progress and was pleased with the big contribution he had made to the future of our forests.
 
Perhaps Bernie’s greatest passion was his skill as a trapper.  He was an old-school trapper who ranged deep in the woods, where he plied his trade based on his vast and detailed knowledge of animal behavior.  Bernie loved working by himself in the woods.  He always said that his dog never argued with him about when and where they went.  He was one of a small number of people who have been trampled by a moose, although he always made it clear that he didn’t blame the moose. I doubt if there are many left who understand the woods like Bernie did.
 
Bernie always expressed his gratitude for the love shown him by his beautiful and resourceful wife, Bobbie, and his talented and successful children.  I’m sure the whole West End joins me in wishing them our deepest condolences.
 
The West End will never be quite the same without Rob and Bernie among us.
 

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Birch Grove Community School

School News from Birch Grove: October 28

Sophia and Kalina report the latest School News.

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USFWS Midwest

North Woods Naturalist: Spawning coasters

In the streams and on the shoals, the Coaster Brook Trout are busy. WTIP’s Jay Andersen talks with naturalist Chel Anderson about spawning coasters.

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