Listen Now
Pledge Now


 
 

North Shore Morning

AM Community Calendar/photo by masochismtango on Flickr

  • Monday 8-10am
  • Tuesday 8-10am
  • Wednesday 8-10am
  • Thursday 8-10am
  • Friday 8-10am
Genre: 
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:

Senior Center welcomes new program coordinator, Jes Rodne

In addition to a busy summer schedule, the Senior Center in Grand Marais has a new programs and services coordinator, Jes Rodne. WTIP volunteer Mary Manning talked with Jes and director, Bev Green, on North Shore Morning about what's new at the Center.

Listen: 
Program: 

 

GM Playhouse production "Eleemosynary" opens June 25

‘Eleemosynary’ – a production of the Grand Marais Playhouse – is about the relationship of 3 generations of women.  WTIP volunteer Mark Abrahamson spoke with Jackson Nickolay and Melanie Stoddard of the Grand Marais Playhouse on North Shore Morning.  ‘Eleemosynary” opens June 25 at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts. 
 
 
 

Listen: 
Program: 

 
Hand-made rug by Lucy Caribou of Grand Marais, MN

Anishinaabe Way: Gloria Martineau, Part 2

Grand Portage band member Gloria Martineau was born and raised in the town of Grand Marais, MN. In this segment, she talks about her closest neighbor, Lucy Caribou, who made hand-made rag rugs and hooked rugs for a living.
 

Listen: 

 
Last Will and Testament {Will Mayer /Flickr}

Brown Bag Lunch: Why You Need a Will, June 23

Power of attorney, advance directives and wills:  estate planning is important for adults of all ages.  WTIP volunteer Julie Carlson spoke with Ruthanne Vos of Mathison Law Office on North Shore Morning.  'Why You Need a Will':  Brown Bag Lunch, Tuesday June 23rd at Cook County Higher Education at 11:30am.  Registration online.
 

Listen: 
Program: 

 
Photo by Steve Evans on Flickr

Wildersmith on the Gunflint: June 19

As the summer solstice checks in this weekend, more summer like conditions have taken over the Trail. We’ve had some splendid sunny days, and temps of both air and water are more suitable to the onslaught of visitors pouring into the territory. A reading of the lakeshore water at Wildersmith finds the mercury in the mid-sixties. So it won’t be long before a dip in the lake on a sticky day will feel pretty satisfying.

Several perennial wildflowers have popped open over the past few days. Most noteworthy are wild roses in many locations along back country roads. While deep in the forest, a number of digital recordings of our precious lady-slippers are being shared through cyberspace. And in areas of predominant sunshine, waves of forget-me-nots are twinkling sky-blue reflections.

On the lesser side of the blooming ledger, those colorful, but invasive, lupines are standing tall in their purple, pink and white spires. Knowing these are not the most welcome by people in the know about native flora, they are nevertheless a striking rainbow of luminance along our scenic byway. All this blooming glory is “Mother Nature” at her best!

North woods magic is seldom more delightful than twilight time on a clear sky morning. Not long ago, I was awakened early one tranquil morning and so enjoyed the privilege of observing the forest wake up. Daylight had broken, although “Sol” had not risen above the horizon,and still-hidden rays had chased the darkness. In spite of the brightening sky, lake water reflections lingered in a somber hue. The atmosphere stood dead silent. Neither leaf nor needle muttered a whisper, and ground level greenery hunkered motionless. Not a creature was stirring until the particular moment when the first beams of sun ascended the granite horizon near due east. Those piercing spears of brightness suddenly turned on the switch. A subtle, but swift burst of warmth engulfed day-break over Gunflint Lake. Almost on cue, solar energy heated the air, causing whiffs of movement. Ripples abruptly wrinkled our mirror-like liquid and on shore, foliage began to tremble. Within minutes, this day-star was fully exposed. Its radiance began to pass through a zillion minute openings in the border country canopy. As the whisper of air amplified, like twinkling lights, glitter bounced off uncountable dew-laden wilderness remnants and flashes of brilliance wiggled along the fiber network of third shift arachnids. Splashes from this great luminary grew more prominent and in their warmth, buzzing critters started swarming about. In moments, the first hummingbird darted by the window on its way to our nectar station. Soon to follow, the larger avian chimed in with their welcoming interlude and not minutes later, the first of many red rodents in our yard traversed the deck rail in search of a breakfast morsel. The day was open for business!

Speaking of buzzing critters, during our mid-day sunshine, as are others, this neighborhood is unbelievably alive with the hum of uncountable insects. They‘re feasting on either the abundant blossom nectar, or searching for some poor soul from which they might withdraw a little blood. If one is attired in proper bug protection, standing out among them catching a listen to this diverse murmur is quite the buzz (no pun intended).

In another moose sighting, a couple residing up near the end of the Trail mentioned one of those rare experiences last weekend. They came upon a Momma and her calf. This is not too unusual except that this little one was still wet behind the ears so to speak, and gawkily unstable as it tried to keep up with Mom. One would have to assume this was a newborn, not long out of the womb. What a joyous experience for not only the observers but also for the new Mother.

In closing this week, a big thumbs up to the organizers of the Boundary Waters Expo. I was there for the opening hours on Friday and have heard many complimentary comments about the entire weekend of activities.

If you didn’t get to the big “shrimp boil” put on by the Gunflint Trail Historical Society last Sunday you missed a feast of awesome proportions. Thanks to all the Gunflint Community for their help in putting on this swell gathering. I noticed several neighboring residents departing the event in a bloated state having made numerous passes along the scrumptious serving trough!

Keep on hangin’ on, and savor a Gunflint day on the Trail!

Listen: 

 
{Michael Hicks /Flickr}

All Welcome at Grand Portage National Monument

Grand Portage National Monument is 35 miles northeast of Grand Marais and well worth the trip.  North Shore Morning host Randy Eastlund visits with Carl Koster about the new season.
 

 

Listen: 
Program: 

 

Superior National Forest Update: June 19

Hi.  I’m Cathy Peterson, administrative support assistant, with this week’s edition of the National Forest Update - information on conditions affecting travel and recreation on the Tofte and Gunflint Districts of the Superior National Forest. For the week of June 19th, here’s what’s going on in the Forest.
There are two logging operations still proceeding on this end of the Forest.  As in previous weeks, there will be log hauling on the Shoe Lake Road, Greenwood Road, and Gunflint Trail on the Gunflint District, and on the Four Mile Grade south of Wilson Lake, Lake County 7 south of Harriet Lake, and on FR 369, the Trappers Lake Road.
You might encounter more log trucks this week than you have in past weeks.  Visitors to the Tofte District can still expect logging traffic on the Four Mile Grade and Lake County 7 near Wilson and Harriet Lakes, and on the Trappers Lake Road and Dumbell River Road near Sawbill Landing.  Starting this weekend, we also have operations near The Grade (FR 170), just a few miles east of the Sawbill Trail. 
On the Gunflint District, there are operations off of the Pine Mountain Road and Greenwood Lake Road.  Visitor could encounter logging traffic on these roads and the Gunflint Trail.  There have also been numerous trucks hauling gravel out of the pit near Thompson Lake, so visitors near the Devil Track Campground should be aware of that traffic.  
This weekend is Father’s Day, and the summer solstice.  It is a nice idea that all the fathers out there get the longest day of the year to enjoy the outdoors.  There will be over 15 hours of day this solstice, so lots of time for hiking, fishing, canoeing, and all the other activities that a fathers might want to do on the Forest.  It will probably be a busy weekend out there as well, so take it slow on those one lane Forest roads.  You have plenty of time.
Starting next week on June 23, we will be having naturalist programs on the North Shore Tuesdays through Saturdays.  This program is funded in cooperation with Visit Cook County, and provides Forest Service naturalist programs at area resorts and campgrounds, as well as at Hedstrom’s Lumber Mill and Artists Point.  There are usually two evening campfire programs each day, and a morning activity as well.  See the schedule of all seventeen weekly programs on the Forest website, or at the Visitor Information building in Grand Marais, Tofte or at any Forest Service office.  These programs are open to everyone, whether you are a guest at the hosting resort or not.
There will also be a Forest Service naturalist program at Chik Wauk Nature Center at the end of the Gunflint Trail on Tuesday afternoons at 2pm.  Topics will change every week, starting this week with a wildflower hike.
Fire conditions have been low to moderate through the Forest, and with rain expected, they should remain in that area.  Regardless of fire conditions, make sure to extinguish campfires completely before leaving them for any length of time.  A fire left to burn out may smolder instead and then break out when fire conditions worsen.
Have a great Father’s Day weekend, and enjoy the Forest.  Until next week, this has been Cathy Peterson with the Superior National Forest Update. 
 

Listen: 

 
Senator Tom Bakk

West End News: June 18

Fishing has been good this year and northern fishing was particularly good during the early part of the season. A lot of my customers reported catching big northerns this year and in every single instance that I heard about, the fish were returned to the water to be caught again another day. When I was a kid, every large fish was kept, shown off, and either eaten or mounted. Now, almost everyone releases big fish.

Under a new plan being proposed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, it looks like it will soon become mandatory to release all big northern pike caught in northeastern Minnesota. Research is showing that preserving the big northerns and removing the hammer handles is much better for the walleye population and the overall ecological health of the lakes.

DNR Fisheries managers are pretty confident in their science, but are still bending over backward to include the public in any future regulation changes. They know from bitter past experience that tampering with fishing regulations can have the same potential effect on politics that dynamite has on fish populations. They are hopeful that by tailoring different regulations to the circumstances in different parts of the state, they can get good buy-in from the public. Based on the many anglers that I talk to every day, the plan sounds like a good one to me.

Speaking of politics, our own State Senator Tom Bakk's tenure as Senate majority leader is being called into question by many editorial writers across the state. The chaotic end to the recent legislative session has led to some public disgruntlement among the members of the DFL caucus in the Senate. Some last minute back-room deals weakening some key environmental protections angered many Democrats, both within the caucus and across the state. Bakk also supported a downgrading of the State Auditor's power, which was widely seen as political payback for Auditor Rebecca Otto's publicly expressed reservations about proposed sulfide mining near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Although the change for the Auditor's position ultimately did pass, most legal scholars don't give it much of a chance of withstanding an expected constitutional legal challenge.

Earlier this year, Bakk received a bitter tongue lashing from fellow DFLer Governor Mark Dayton in which the Governor said that he could no longer trust the powerful Senate Majority Leader. The two men eventually reconciled, but the end of the session seemed to expose some ongoing tension.

Of course, for those of us lucky enough to live in Senator Bakk's district, he has been a good friend, bringing millions of dollars to the district for good projects and by stint of his leadership power, protecting our interests very effectively at the legislature. It would be a distinct loss for us if Senator Bakk lost his leadership position. However, some political pundits are suggesting that Senator Bakk's weakened position within his own caucus, combined with a distinct swing of statewide public opinion against sulfide mining near the wilderness, which he strongly supports, may cost him that very leadership position.

Even if it does't happen next year, the Iron Range will very likely lose some political clout after the 2020 census, based on population trends alone. Whatever ends up happening, it will be an interesting next few years for political nerds like me to observe the happenings.

Two former Sawbill Outfitters crew members who have become permanent residents of Cook County, Carla Hill and Jessica Hemmer, went on a canoe trip together last week. On the last morning of their trip, they awoke on Polly Lake, to discover that a large snapping turtle had crawled into their fire grate, where they had built a fire just the night before, and was laying its eggs. They saw at least 15 eggs go into the hole dug by the turtle with their own eyes.

After a couple of hours, the turtle, apparently now empty of eggs, jostled itself around and headed back to the lake. The two experienced wilderness women watched with interest as the primeval looking reptile waddled toward a steep rock incline. They speculated that the turtle was planning to slide on its bottom shell, down the steep slope to the water. Much to their surprise, when the turtle started to slide, it immediately went end over end, or as the late Millie Croft used to say, "arse over teacup," clump, clump clump - until it finally splashed back into the lake. After briefly gathering its wits, mama turtle swam calmly off, leaving two astonished humans in its wake.

It was just another unique experience in the wonderful West End.

Listen: 

 
Veery

Field Notes: Veery and Least Flycatcher

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

(Photo by Biodiversity Heritage Library on Flickr)

Listen: 

 
The Lake Superior Project/Logo by Lauryl Loberg

LSP: The toxic legacy of the former Finland Air Force Base

Just outside of Finland, Minnesota, on the top of Lookout Mountain, is a Minnesota Superfund Site. Clean-up at this site has been an ongoing project of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency due to soil and water contamination. In this edition of the Lake Superior Project, Heidi Bauman - one of the project managers on the clean-up project - talks about how the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is dealing with this contamination.
 

Listen: 
Program: