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North Shore Weekend

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  • Saturday 7-10am
Genre: 
Variety
Host CJ Heithoff brings you this Saturday morning show, created at the request of WTIP listeners.  North Shore Weekend features three hours of community information, features, interviews, and music. It's truly a great way to start your weekend on the North Shore. Arts, cultural and history features on WTIP’s North Shore Weekend are made possible with funding from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

 

 


What's On:
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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Cook County Schools

West End News: October 22

We were thrilled to have a visit from the Superior National Forest leadership team this week. The team is about 30 Forest Service employees who hold the higher administrative jobs at the Forest Service headquarters in Duluth and in the District Offices around the Forest. They were taking a full day to tour various parts of the Tofte District, which includes most of the West End.
 
The Forest Service plays a large role in our lives here in the West End, as they administer the vast majority of our land base. Their multiple-use mandate provides business opportunities in timber and recreation of all types. They are also important employers in their own right. As if that isn’t enough, they provide a lot of the recreation opportunities that we all enjoy, including trails of all types, fishing docks, campgrounds and hunting land, just to name a few.
 
The individuals on the leadership team are out and about in the forest on a daily basis, but it’s also valuable for the whole team to get out together, so they can discuss and ponder future policy decisions while looking at the actual effects of their past decisions.
 
It’s easy to make fun of any big organization like the Forest Service, but the reality is that they do a great job administering the public lands that provide for the lifestyle that makes us all want to live here.  In my long experience with the Forest Service, I’ve invariably been impressed with the intelligence and dedication of the employees. They do a lot for us and we shouldn’t take them for granted.
 
The Bloodmobile is returning to Tofte on Monday, November 16, from 2:30 until 6 pm.  It parks at Zoar Lutheran Church with registration taking place just inside the church. Long-time blood drive volunteer, Julie Rannetsberger, is organizing things this time around, so give her a call at 663-7111 to schedule a time to donate.
 
I almost never miss an opportunity to donate blood, but I’ll have to pass this time because I’ll be on vacation in Hawaii. Someone is welcome to take my place though – at the blood drive, not in Hawaii!
 
I usually don’t report local births, because if I do one, then I have to do them all. But I’m making an exception for the birth of Freja Tofte Hedstrom last week. Freya is, I’m told, the first child born of a union between the Toftes and the Hedstroms, two of the  largest and most prominent pioneer families in Cook County. Congratulations to the parents, Abby Tofte and Sam Hedstrom, as well as the grandparents, Brian and Kelly Tofte, and Ed and Kris Hedstrom.
 
The election ballots are out for the operating levy referendum for the Cook County Schools, also known as Independent School District Number 166. 
 
In my opinion, the correct vote on this issue is “yes.” Without this authorization, our largest school district will be crippled in its efforts to educate our children.  
 
Education is the key to almost everything in a civil society. I could provide examples all day, but the bottom line is that our tax dollars spent on public education provide a return on investment that would be the envy of any Wall Street hedge fund.  Failure is not an option here. We can pay a little now or pay a lot later.
 
Aside from the financial sound financial reasons for voting yes, it is also just the right thing to do. What kind of community would we be if we didn’t invest in the well-being of our children? 
 
Thanks in advance for doing your part to keep the West End a wonderful place to grow up and a great place to raise a family.
 

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A Year in the Wilderness: October 22 - Visit from a group of paddlers

Cook County adventurers Dave and Amy Freeman are spending a year in the wilderness. On a regular basis they’ll be sharing some of their experiences travelling the BWCAW. Here’s their latest installment as they spend time with a visiting group of paddlers.

 

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Sunny's huskies

Sunny's Back Yard: Adopting two huskies

Adopting dogs that need homes can be rewarding but challenging. Sunny tells us about 20 years of living with - and loving - huskies. 

Sunny has lived off-grid in rural Lake County for the past 17 years and is a regular commentator on WTIP. Here she shares what's been happening in Sunny's Back Yard.

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Field Notes: American Robin

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.

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A Year in the Wilderness: October 15 - Traveling through Pagami Creek burn area

Cook County adventurers Dave and Amy Freeman are spending a year in the wilderness. On a regular basis they’ll be sharing some of their experiences travelling the BWCAW. Here’s their latest installment as they paddle through the regrowth of the Pagami Creek fire area.

(Photo by Eli Sagor on Flickr)

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Stargazing {Caroline /Flickr}

Northern Sky: October 17

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.
A busy morning sky with Venus, Jupiter, and Mars fairly high in the east; Mars and Jupiter at their closest on October 17th; a full moon rising on October 26th at its fullest at 7:05am on the 27th.

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Fungi noose

North Woods Naturalist: Predatory fungi

Fungi are an important part of the earth’s scheme of decomposition. But do they hunt and kill? WTIP’s Jay Andersen talks with naturalist Chel Anderson about predatory fungi.

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The Marvelous Imagination of Katie Addams: Chapter 27

Chapter 27: Epilogue

(Photo courtesy of Loren Kerns on Flickr)

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Wildersmith on the Gunflint: October 2

After a quick run to Iowa for a visit with kids, we Smiths are back on the Trail. It’s great to be home as fall (Tagwaagin in Ojibwe) opens up in full array.

Our color show around Wildersmith could peak this weekend while this scoop comes your way. With the exception of wintertime's fresh snow adornments in the forest, autumn in these parts is simply the most beautiful of all possible seasonal characters.

Spicy aspects of fall have engulfed this neighborhood. Last weekend, the deciduous forest was lit up like the nightly Vegas Strip. Bright sunny skies beamed through yellow, orange and red leafy compounds in a mind boggling blur through granite uplands.

At ground level, the landscape shows early departing leaves building up along back country roads windrowed by local traffic and occasional leaf peepers. Simultaneously, the coniferous forest is not to be outdone and is contributing its annual layering of elder needles to the cushy wilderness carpet.

Added to this nostalgic happening are the faint fragrances of damp ground and the onset of decaying foliage. This aroma of the forest is dispersed by soft fall breezes and suddenly, outdoor lovers are captured by the aura. If we could only bottle this sachet!

It’s hard to concentrate with so much natural magnificence all around, but time is whizzing by. Last minute “getting ready for winter” chores are piling up like fall leaves. There are not many docks left on Gunflint Lake. In fact, I might have been one of the last one to take in my summer observation planks and the boat. Thanks to a great neighbor and his son, this “to do” item is now checked off my list.

I’m now onto stacking more firewood, readying the snowblower, mounting the snow blade, wrapping baby trees with deer protection, draining hoses and other numerable winterizing tasks that go along with living at 48 degrees north. Tedious, yes, but the adventure, mystique and anticipation of this magic transformation from warm to cool and then cold is well worth it to this old guy!

Tales of bear encounters continue throughout the territory. It seems as though most reports come from places where concentrations of people are high. Obviously, bears have figured out people can be an easy touch due to careless habits with appetizing nutritional items (in other words, garbage).

In the meantime, Wildersmith has not been bothered by the marauding critters. Now just wait, since I’ve made this statement, we’ll be paid a “Bruno” visit. It never fails, but any curious Ursa stopping by will not find any temptations.

Getting ready for winter continues on at a hectic pace for red squirrels and their rodent chipmunk cousins. The other day one of the feisty seed fetchers got so excited for a hand-out it accidentally got under one of my size thirteens. It didn’t get squashed, but did get its toes pinched. The little guy/gal scrambled off giving me the devil. In a matter of seconds, it was back after me, only this time keeping a more reasonable distance.

Alas, after all the hoopla of this month's “super” full, wild rice moon, such was a flop out this way last Sunday evening. Blue daytime heavens gave way to late day clouds and by the time we should have been enjoying the splendor of this lunar extravaganza, rain drops were falling on our heads. So we’ll try again in another 18 years.

In the meantime, the “falling leaves” moon, of segment ten, will be spinning its fall yarn near ghosts and goblin time. Timing for this one is a spooky coincidence.

In lieu of sadly missing the “super” man in the moon, on a happier note, one of our favorite upper Gunflint neighbors is celebrating a milestone birthday. Long time seasonal resident, Ken Rusk, turns 98. Think of all the things he has seen and been a part of in his lifetime. He’s a walking, talking Gunflint history book. Happy 98th, Ken!

This is Fred Smith, on the Trail, at Wildersmith! Come on along and enjoy the miracles in Gunflint color.

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