It’s good to be back writing the West End News for the best radio station in the world, WTIP. I took some time off from this job while I made an unsuccessful bid to become the legislative representative for the beautiful and massive District 3A.
Contrary to popular belief, being a candidate for public office is a lot of fun. Your job is to get yourself out in the community to listen to the hopes, fears, concerns and dreams of as many people as possible. It turns out that this is a very affirming and interesting job. Everyone I talked to was friendly, well informed, and often funny. Even the people who would said they would never vote for me invariably had a smile and a word of encouragement.
The most affirming though, are the volunteers and supporters who commit wholeheartedly to a common vision for the future of the state. I can assure you that there are many, many of our friends and neighbors willing to work hard for prosperity, justice and the common good.
I was disappointed to lose the election. But, beyond my own bruised ego, I was more disappointed for the hundreds of dedicated volunteers, supporters, donors and thousands of voters who put their trust and faith in me. On the other hand, I know that I worked as hard as I could and, at the end of the day, that’s all a person can do.
As a side benefit, the campaign came at a perfect time to enjoy the fall colors as I drove from Grand Portage to International Falls and back several times. I saw a ton of wildlife, including half a dozen bull moose, several wolves, including a curious a adolescent, several lynx, the same set of bear cub twins four times, a fisher and too many deer, eagles, fox, hawks, owls and migrating warblers to count. Northern Minnesota is a great place to live!
All the resorts, restaurants and stores along the North Shore have been swamped this fall as the beautiful weather has extended the popular fall color season to the latest date in modern history. The extended season, combined with the annual gap between shifts of foreign student workers, has created a serious employee shortage all up and down the shore. Owners and management are bussing tables and cleaning rooms, while the wage workers who are still on the job forgo days off and work a lot of overtime. It’s a classy problem to have, but a problem nonetheless. It should ease up in a couple of weeks when the leaves drop and the next crop of seasonal workers arrive and get settled in.
I am pleased to report that the wonderful Clair Nelson Community Center in Finland has two advocates trained to provide services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, including legal advocacy or assistance if you are in crisis. Those in need are welcome to walk in during the Center's regular office hours from 10am - 4pm on Tuesdays and Fridays and ask for Honor or Joni.
Brulé, with its spectacular Native American stage production of “SIGHT, SOUND & SOUL,” is performing Saturday, October 24, at 7:00 pm at the William Kelley High School Auditorium in Silver Bay.
Hailing from South Dakota, Brulé thrills audiences with a fusion of cultural rock, traditional sound, and theatrical dance with insights to share about our connections to others, to the land, and to the living things around us. Brulé’s electrifying show includes a five-piece rock ensemble with traditional Native American instrumentation and dancers.
The Northern Lake County Arts Board sponsors Brule’s concert, with financial support from the Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation, Cultural Arts and Heritage Fund and the Silver Bay Tourism Association. For information and ticket reservations, just search the Internet for the Northern Lake County Arts Board, or contact WTIP.
When and if you do get a minute of free time, be sure to enjoy the spectacular foliage, or the brilliant northern lights, or the wonderful meteor shower in progress this week. There is never a shortage of world-class quality experiences here in the beautiful West End.