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North Shore Morning

AM Community Calendar/photo by masochismtango on Flickr

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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:
photo by David L Grinstead

Northern Sky: September 6

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Deane Morrison is a science writer at the University of Minnesota, where she authors the Minnesota Starwatch column.

The last of three super moons on September 8, brighter and really round; Mars and Antares battle it out; and big news - a 3d map of our corner of the universe shows superclusters and watersheds.


 

Superior National Forest Update: September 5

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Hi.  I’m Matt Riederer, Timber Sale Administrator, with this week’s edition of the Superior National Forest Update  -  information on conditions affecting travel and recreation on the Tofte and Gunflint Districts.
For the week of September 5th, here is what’s going on around the Forest.
Another Labor Day has come and gone, and the crowds are starting to diminish as people head back to work and school; but some campgrounds and entry points can still be busy on the weekend as campers try to fit in one last summer adventure.  If a campground is full, make sure you are respectful of others so everyone can enjoy the weekend.  Park so as to not block traffic, keep the volume on electronic devices low, and don’t run generators unless necessary – and not at all during quiet hours.  But…Do get outside, have fun, go on hikes, roast marshmallows… and try not to think about the snow which could start falling in a couple of months.
Cooler temperatures and less daylight mean that autumn is on its way; and our first fall color report of the season is out.  You will probably notice a few of the maples, birches, and aspen starting to turn as you drive through the Forest. 
Fire danger is low this weekend, but that is no reason to let your campfire get out of control.  Keep fires in grates and fire rings; and remember that it is illegal to burn trash in a campfire.  Don’t leave your fire until it is completely out and cool to the touch.
Our recreation staff has spent the last couple of weeks maintaining existing trails, while also beginning construction on two new trails.  The Little Isabella Campground Connector Trail will provide an opportunity for OHV riders to connect from the Little Isabella Campground to existing trails shown on the Superior National Forest Motor Vehicle Use Map.  One loop of sites in the Little Isabella Campground will soon be open to OHV riders allowing them to ride directly to their campsite.  In addition, our recreation personnel have completed a corridor clearing for a re-route of the Beaver Snowmobile Trail near Jonvick Creek in the Lutsen area.
 
On the road, you can still expect delays on Highway 61.  With heavier traffic on the weekend, your trip from Silver Bay to Tofte could easily be twenty to forty minutes longer than usual.  The hills on the detour slow down heavy trucks and RVs; so watch out for impatient drivers passing in bad places.
Logging traffic on the Gunflint District will be about the same as the last few weeks.  You might encounter log trucks in the Devil Track Lake area, on the Ball Club Road, Bally Creek Road, Shoe Lake Road, Greenwood Lake Road, Pine Mountain Road, the Gunflint Trail, the Swamp and Cascade River Roads, and Cook County 7 and 45.  Logging activity is currently much lighter on the Tofte District, with only one active harvest right now.  However, you still might see a log truck or two on Lake County 7, the 4 Mile Grade, Cook County 3, the Caribou Trail, Mark Lake Road, and The Grade.
Switching from timber harvests to reforestation - Just over 171,000 trees were planted on about 600 acres this past season.  Species such as white, red, and jack pine, white and black spruce, cedar, tamarack, and yellow and paper birch were planted in stands that had been harvested, as well as on some sites that had not been cut.  All of the trees were grown at a Forest Service nursery in Watersmeet, MI, from local seed stock here on the east side of the Forest.
If fishing in the Boundary Waters is part of your plan, make sure to dispose of fish waste properly.  Recommendations on how to do this have changed through the years.  The current best practice is to take your catch and paddle away from your campsite.  Clean the fish away from the campsite and the lake, and leave the remains at least 150 feet from water.  Don’t dig a big hole, but you can cover the remains with duff.  The idea is to minimize the attractive smell of fish guts in your campsite.  While you might not think this is particularly attractive, there are plenty of animals that do.  Disposing of fish waste in the lake, or leaving it exposed on rocks for birds, are no longer considered to be good ways of dealing with fish guts.
Have a great weekend!  And remember, for up to minute information on topics such as fire restrictions or fall colors, be sure to check our website or stop by a Ranger Station.
Hope you enjoy another week in the Forest and on the water.  Until next week, this has been Matt Riederer with the Superior National Forest Update.
 
 


 

West End News: September 4

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A study conducted by the Minnesota Department of Health has found that 10 percent of the babies in northeastern Minnesota have a higher level of mercury in their blood than is considered safe.
 
This is a very alarming statistic because, according to the National Institutes of Health, mercury poisoning in infants can cause permanent damage to the brain.
 
Mercury is introduced into the environment from a variety of sources, including coal burning power plants, fluorescent light bulbs, and even some food processing systems.
 
In response to finding mercury in the blood of our infants, Sawtooth Mountain Clinic in Grand Marais is coordinating a study of women who are 16 to 50 years old and live in or near Cook County.
 
The study strives to interview and test at least 500 women. The interview lasts for an hour and is free and totally confidential. You will be asked about your fish eating habits and will have your blood tested for mercury. You will receive the results of the tests and will get information on how to get the positive health benefits of eating fish while avoiding exposure to mercury.
 
Better yet, all study participants who complete the process receive a $50 Visa gift card.
 
Registered nurse, Joyce Klees, is holding an enrollment event at the Birch Grove Community Center in Tofte Wednesday, Sept. 10 from 3 until 7 p.m.
 
If you can’t make the Birch Grove date, there is another all day enrollment opportunity at the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic Saturday, Sept. 13, from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.
 
This is a very important study for the future health of our children and I strongly urge every eligible woman to participate.
 
At both events snacks and childcare will be provided.  Call the clinic at 218-387-2330 and ask for the FISH coordinator if you want more information.
 
On a lighter note, the semi-regular card-making get-together is scheduled for the Birch Grove Community Center on Sunday, Sept. 14 from 3 to 7:30 p.m.  There is a small charge and you are asked to bring a dish to share, potluck style, for dinner.
 
If you are new to card making, you can just show up and the veterans will share their supplies and expertise.  Just think about how satisfying it would be to have all your cards made for the year – and to have them be cool, handmade and thoughtful.
 
Call Penny at 475-2432 for more information. You can always contact Birch Grove or WTIP for information as well.
 
I thought the blueberry report would be history by this point in the season. However, Duluth’s most avid blueberry harvest team, Jim and Teresa Warren, managed to pick 25 quarts of sweet berries in the Sawbill area over the Labor Day weekend. 
 
They report that the bushes are still loaded and due to the cool, wet weather, the berries are unusually plump and sweet.
 
The Warrens admit to being obsessive about their picking habit, but I’m estimating that they have picked at least 30 gallons of blueberries this year.  You’ll recognize them if you see them because they are the people with blue stains on their clothes, hands and faces.  If they keep this up, they may start growing black fur and hibernating in the winter.
 
For WTIP, this is Bill Hansen with the West End News.


 

Cook County YMCA Open House: September 2-7

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The Cook County YMCA is hosting a Fall Open House, September 2nd through 7th – that’s Tuesday through Sunday.  North Shore Morning host Julie Carlson spoke with Branch Executive Director Emily Marshall and Membership Director Betsy Blaisdell.  Events include Blackout Volleyball, Tuesday September 2, 6-8pm; Pool Party, Wednesday September 3, 4-6pm; Family Block Party, Friday September 5, 3:30-6pm; and Outdoor Movie, Friday September 5, 8pm.  Events and admission are free.  
More information about the Fall Open House and Y programs at 387-3386 or online.

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Superior National Forest Update: August 29

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Hi.  I’m Steve Robertsen, interpretive naturalist, with this week’s edition of the Superior National Forest Update  -  information on conditions affecting travel and recreation on the Tofte and Gunflint Districts of the Forest.
For the week of August 29th, here’s what’s going on around the Forest.
Labor Day weekend can be pretty busy as people try to fit in that last summer adventure.  Campgrounds will probably be full, so make sure you’re respectful of other campers so everyone can enjoy the weekend.  Park so as to not block others, keep the volume on electronic devices low, and don’t run generators unless you really need to – and not at all during quiet hours.  You should probably just leave your tuba and bagpipes at home as well.  But…Do get outside, have fun, go on hikes, and roast marshmallows… and try not to think about school starting on Tuesday.
Fire danger is low this weekend, but that’s no reason to let your campfire get out of control.  Keep fires in grates and fire rings, and remember that it is illegal to burn trash in a campfire.  Don’t leave your fire until it is dead out and cool to the touch.
On the road, you can expect delays on Highway 61 still.  With heavier traffic this weekend, your trip from Silver Bay to Tofte could easily be thirty to fifty minutes longer than usual.  Hills on the detour slow down heavy trucks and RVs, so watch out for impatient people passing in bad places.
Logging traffic on the Gunflint District will be about the same as the last few weeks.  You might encounter log trucks on Bally Creek, Devil Track, Ball Club, Shoe Lake, Greenwood, Pine Mountain, The Grade, the Caribou Trail, the Gunflint Trail, and on the Swamp and Cascade River roads and Cook County 7 and 45.  On the Tofte end, there are no active timber harvests right now.  You still might see a few trucks on the 4 Mile Grade, and Mark Lake Road.
If fishing in the Boundary Waters is part of your plan, make sure to dispose of fish waste properly.  Recommendations for this have changed through the years.  The current best practice is to take your catch and paddle away from your campsite.  Clean the fish away from the campsite and the lake, and leave the remains at least 150 feet from water.  Don’t dig a big hole, but you can cover the pile with duff kicked over it.  The idea is to minimize the attractive smell of fish guts in your campsite.  While you might not think it is particularly attractive, there are plenty of animals that do.  Dumping fish waste in the lake, or leaving it exposed on rocks for birds are no longer considered to be good ways of dealing with fish guts.
To go with your shore lunch, there are still blueberries out there to be picked, but if you are a novice picker, don’t be confused by the fruits of the blue bead lily.  They are blue, and are berries, but they are not edible.  Unlike our ground hugging blueberries, blue bead lily berries grow on a stalk up off the ground, so once you know the difference, they’re easy to tell apart.
Have a great Labor Day!  And remember, for up to minute information on topics such as fire restrictions, be sure to check our website or at a Ranger Station.
Hope you enjoy another week in the Forest and on the water.  Until next week, this has been Steve Robertsen with the National Forest Update.


 
Orion and Sirius (David Joly /Flikr)

Northern Sky: August 23

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Deane Morrison is a science writer at the University of Minnesota, where she authors the Minnesota Starwatch column.

Jupiter and the winter stars, Mars and Saturn, Bootes (the Herdsman) and one more supermoon.


 
Afternoon Tea (Iban /Flikr)

An Invitation to Afternoon Tea, September 3

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You can RSVP for Afternoon Tea:  the event celebrates and supports Cook County Higher Education.  North Shore Morning host Randy Eastlund spoke with Paula Sundet Wolf of Cook County Higher Education on North Shore Morning.
 
Cook County Higher Education is hosting the 2nd annual Afternoon Tea Party at Naniboujou Lodge on September 3rd from 2:15 to 5:00 pm.  Dr. Karen I. Halbersleben will present the keynote address, “God Save the Queens:” Learning from the Six Women who have Ruled England since 1066. Six women have been crowned Queen Regnant of England since 1066, ruling for a combined 198 years of turmoil and triumph.  Guests will learn about each of the six-- two Marys, two Elizabeths, Anne, and Victoria--and about the unique challenges they faced, the choices they made, and the mark they left on their nation.  Dr. Halbersleben will consider how their gender influenced their years on the throne and seek to understand what is unique about a nation that sings with pride "God Save the Queen."
Schedule of Events
2:15 Silent Auction
3:30 Program Welcome: Paula Sundet Wolf, Executive Director of Cook County Higher Education
3:45 Key Note Speaker: Karen I. Halbersleben presents “God Save the Queens”
4:45 Final wrap up
5:00 Program concludes
Reservations requested by August 27th.
Proceeds from this event go towards the CCHE Endowment Fund.
More information online at northshorecampus.org or by phone Monday through Thursday at 387-3411.
 
 
 

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Popcorn (Wendy /Flikr)

A New Season of Cook County Athletics & Booster Club Concessions

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The first home volleyball game is Tuesday August 26th, and the Cook County Athletic Booster Club wants you.  North Shore Morning host Sherrie Lindskog  spoke with Kris Phillips, Booster Club secretary, on North Shore Morning.

The Cook County Athletic Booster Club is looking for volunteers for the concession stand during the volleyball season (6 home volleyball games) and later for the basketball season (starting in December).
Three people per shift is ideal.  Anyone can volunteer - parents, grandparents, community members, businesses, etc. A sign-up sheet will also be posted at school at the concession area looking for volunteers for other home games.  More information and sign up with Kris Phillips at 370-5910 or ccbooster@boreal.org
Earliest dates: Tuesday, Aug 26 (Silver Bay)
Early Shift (4:45-6:30)
Late Shift (6:30-8:15)
Tuesday, Sept. 9 (Wrenshall) 
Early Shift (4:45-6:30)
Late Shift (6:30-8:15) 
 

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Superior National Forest Update: August 22

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Hi.  I’m Steve Robertsen, interpretive naturalist, with this week’s edition of the Superior National Forest Update  -  information on conditions affecting travel and recreation on the Tofte and Gunflint Districts of the Forest.
For the week of August 22th, here’s what’s going on around the Forest.
If you’re planning on driving around the Forest, don’t plan on driving fast.  Many roads are getting pretty washboarded and driving fast will not only rattle your teeth, it will cause you to lose traction and control.  Construction continues to grind on on Highway 61.  Be patient and don’t lose your cool.  It can be frustrating following a haul truck uphill at 10 miles per hour, but don’t let it lead you to pass in unsafe areas.  There is still a detour through Finland via Highway 1 and County 6, and another section with single lane traffic a little farther north, so you can expect long delays on the road between Silver Bay and Tofte.  If you planning on picking up a Boundary Waters permit right before closing time, you may need to rethink your plans. 
Logging traffic on the Gunflint District will be about the same as the last few weeks.  Expect log trucks on Bally Creek, Devil Track, Ball Club, Shoe Lake, Greenwood, Pine Mountain, The Grade, the Caribou Trail, and the Gunflint Trail, plus starting this week on the Mississippi Creek and Cascade River roads and Cook County 7 and 45.  On the Tofte end, there are no active timber harvests right now.  You still might see a few trucks on the 4 Mile Grade, and Mark Lake Road.
We still have fairly low fire danger locally, thanks to the recent damp weather.  Some of our fire people are out west helping with fires there, but some will be continuing with clearing understory growth at Baker Lake Campground this week. 
There has been a lot of bear activity recently as our local bruins do their best to put on the pounds before winter’s hibernation.  Make sure to be bear aware.  This means not leaving food packs unattended on portages, storing food either in a hard sided vehicle, bear resistant food container, or hung appropriately from a tree:  10 feet off the ground, 4 feet out from the trunk, and 4 feet down from the branch.  Campsites in the Boundary Waters fill up this time of year, so look for camp early and have lots of back up plans if you find your favorite site already claimed.
Remember the ‘Nine person rule’ in the wilderness means not only that your group needs to be below nine people, but that more than nine people can’t be together in any one spot in the Boundary Waters.  That means if your group of nine is eating lunch at the foot of a portage, no one else can use that portage.  Try to find places other than portages for lunches, and keep an eye out for other groups.  If you see that others are waiting for your group to clear, be kind and move along so they can use the portage or landing.
For up to minute information on topics such as fire restrictions, be sure to check our website or at a Ranger Station.
Hope you enjoy another week in the Forest and on the water.  Until next week, this has been Steve Robertsen with the National Forest Update.


 

Tofte Township news

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Big thanks to Louise Trachta, senior housing news, and more.  WTIP talks with Tofte Township Supervisor Jeanne Larson.  

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