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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:

Northern Sky: February 20

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 full Snow Moon or Hunger Moon on February 22; Earth prepares to lap Jupiter on March 8; Scorpius, Saturn and Mars in the morning sky; and in news - cataclysmic events producing gravitational waves that we can now detect.

(constellation map by Torsten Bronger via Wikimedia Commons)


 

Wildersmith on the Gunflint: February 19

              
Following some “true north” cold, Gunflint conditions have turned somewhat southward once again. Before the turn-around, this neighborhood had a spell of January frigidity as Wildersmith experienced several days of bitter readings prior to emerging above zero last Sunday.                                                                                                                        
On the precipitation side of the weather ledger, things were also on the minus side with the only snow happening of the horizontal variety. As strong winds ushered in the cold, loose snow was whisked off flat lake surfaces. Subsequently, the forest landscape was plastered with a hard coating of icy crystals. Hence, critters trails around the yard were smoothed over as if a fresh snowfall had taken place.                                                                                                                                                   
The bitter cold may have firmed up some of the slushy places on lakes away from shore lines, but plenty of the icy goop remains near shore on a number of lakes. Longtime residents living along Gunflint Lake indicate this is the worst slush they’ve ever seen. That in mind, this semi-winter has broken two records what with the latest “ice on” ever of January 4 and now this continuing slurry mire.                                                                                                                                        
Another consequence of this “El Nino” disaster is the lack of ice depth on big area lakes. A friend in my neighborhood was here angling over the Presidents Day weekend and reports Gunflint Lake ice measured at seventeen inches. Normally right now, as winter begins its descent toward spring, we would be looking at two and a half to three feet of hard water. This oddity causes yet another instance of cold season weather lore trivium.                                                                                      
Speaking of snow, in spite of what appears to be mediocre accumulations around here thus far, a healthy couple feet of the stuff had built up on the Wildersmith roof. Coupled with some early season freezing rain and sleet, ice damming character is becoming a problem along the eaves of our abode. Consequently, yours truly has been into house top snow removal over the last few days. What a job!  Notwithstanding my passion for the white, I hope for a little reprieve from a new build up until sore muscles recuperate.                                                                                                                                                                   
Our “green thumb” neighbor from over on Loon Lake relayed spring tidings last week. She announced her first indoor plantings (Bok Choy) had sprouted. This may be more indicative of an early spring than “Punxsutawney Phil” or any other of his ground hog kin. Of course, it’s still a long ways until sprouts can be set out in the garden, but the happening alone makes people smile.                                                                                                                                                                            
During a quiet moment of outdoor observation last week, I was amused at the sight of a neighborhood squirrel munching sunflower seeds with posthaste. The red rodent was eating like there was no tomorrow, seed after seed, as fast as one could be picked up while casting away shells like they were coming from an automatic weapon.                                                                                                                                                           
After watching this dining exercise for several moments, I decided to time the tiny fellow/gal to see how many kernels it might consume in a sixty second segment. There is probably not a category for this in Ripley’s “Believe it or not,” but for the record, twenty-five morsels were picked up, shelled and devoured in a single minute.  I’d bet the “boys of summer” couldn’t come close to matching this.                                                                            
Perhaps readers and listeners think I have too much time on my hands, and maybe so, but I’m chalking it up as one more up north educational highlight. You know one has to keep their ear to the ground and eyes to the sky for any and all Gunflint Trail enlightenments.                                                    
Lastly, but certainly not in the least of news, for this week, listeners and website readers are reminded of this stations’ first fund raising mission of this new year. The session for sustaining this North Country broadcast phenomena kicked off Thursday and runs through noontime this coming Monday.                                                                                                                                                      
The theme of this membership drive is “Cabin Fever.” Regardless of where listeners reside, there is no need to feel the “fever” when you have WTIP at your beckon. The wonderful spirit of North Shore, and wilderness living, is brought to life every day through a dedicated staff and countless volunteers.                                                                                                                            
However, costs of bringing this air wave effervescence to you does not come cheap, quality programming costs money. This is where supporting membership is so important! WTIP cannot continue to grow without the gracious support of its membership. Members, both renewing and first timers, have been great to step up in the past with their financial resources, and I hope all will do so again during the next few days.                                                                                                              
Don’t delay, give us a call at 387-1070 or 1-800-473-9847 or click and join @ WTIP.org or stop by the studios @ 1712 West Highway 61. The folks at WTIP need you!                                                                   
This is Fred Smith, on the Trail at Wildersmith, keep the radio on and JOIN in the “Cabin Fever” fun!
 
 
{photo by Jon Large via Flickr}

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A Year in the Wilderness: February 18 - Cold weather guests

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 traveling the BWCAW.

(Photo courtesy of Dave and Amy's Facebook page)

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FAFSA

West End News: February 18

The news that a Dollar General Store is being planned for Cook County has certainly caused a flurry of discussion recently.  As with any public policy issue, there are many interests at play and almost as many opinions as there are people, including good reasons for and against building a Dollar General store in our fair city of Grand Marais.  And, the same arguments would apply to just about any part of Cook County, including the West End.
 
In my opinion, it boils down to how we want to organize our society.  Dollar General is part of a giant corporation that exists for one reason and one reason only – to return profit to their stockholders.  In fact, they are required by law to make every reasonable effort to maximize shareholder profit.  Beyond their legal responsibility, ruthless competition forces outfits like Dollar General to cut their costs to the bone – and sometimes beyond the bone – in order to generate those profits. 
 
It’s easy to imagine mustachioed Dollar General executives in stovepipe hats scuttling around their dank offices plotting the destruction of small town America.  My hunch is that the reality is much more banal, and in some ways even more frightening. 
 
It is much more likely that there is a bland office full of highly educated financial experts who spend their days poring over spreadsheets in order to save a dime here, a nickel there and a penny over yonder.  In the corporate cubicle, the systems they devise for cost cutting and efficiency make perfect sense, especially to the bottom line. 
 
However, in the real world of rural America, their decisions have real impact on real people that cause real damage with distressing predictability.  Wages, work schedules, work rules and benefits are lowered to the point where employees can’t make a living, or worse, are actually hurt by their employment.  Control of the supply chain provides leverage to easily drive independent, locally owned stores out of business, which in turn creates more leverage, which allows the profits to flow more freely out of the community.
 
In my opinion, business has three responsibilities: first to their shareholders, second to their employees and other stakeholders and, last but not least, to the communities where they operate.  The latter two are lost if we organize our society completely on a corporate profit model.
 
Most of the existing businesses in Cook County – even the biggest – are owned by people who live in the community and understand the triple bottom line.  I think that situation is valuable and it’s in our own self-interest to protect it.
 
One last reminder that the precinct caucuses for the Republican and Democratic-Farmer-Labor Parties are being held on Tuesday, March 1st, with sign-in starting at 6:30 pm and the caucus process starting at 7 pm.  The Republican caucuses for Cook County are all being held at the Cook County Community Center in Grand Marais.  The DFL caucuses for all the West End precincts will be held at Birch Grove Community Center in Tofte.
 
The caucuses can be kind of sleepy affairs sometimes, but this year there will be a lot of interest because you can cast a preferential ballot to nominate a presidential candidate to represent your party in the general election this November.
 
There are two things that are important to know about the party caucuses.  The first is that you don’t have be a “registered” member of the party to participate.  You can just show up at the caucus of the party that you think most closely represents your political inclination. The second thing to know is that you don’t have to stay for the evening to indicate your presidential choice.  In fact, you can show up, sign in, fill out your presidential candidate ballot and leave, if you want to.
 
If you, or a loved one, are planning or wishing to attend college anytime soon, Cook County Higher Education has an event coming up that you should not miss.  It is a brown bag lunch that will address financial aid and how you can pay for your college education.  It will focus on how to complete the dreaded FAFSA form. FAFSA is an acronym for Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
 
Financial Aid Director LaNita Robinson will walk you through the FAFSA form, including the changes that are new for 2016 and 17.  You can bring a laptop and work on your form with coaching right after the lunch. Or, you can schedule an appointment for some private help later.
 
This is all happening from 11:30 until 1 pm on Friday, March 11th at the North Shore Campus in Grand Marais.  It is a free event and everyone is welcome.
 
For WTIP, this is Bill Hansen with the West End News.
 
 
 

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Wildersmith on the Gunflint: February 12

It seems almost inconceivable we are nearing the half way point of month two. As January fades in the rear view mirror, seed and plant catalogs are filling our mail boxes, rousing spirits of those among us with green thumbs.  I’ve received a couple of those colorful growing prospectus and had to laugh when my frozen breathe obscured my reach to get the first one out of the snow covered letter box.                                                                                                                                                                       
Our hit and miss cold season is back this week after the brief spring prelude around first of the month. How long this snow and cold spell will hang in there is anyone’s guess.                                              
A rather surprising snow happening blanketed the territory last weekend. Four to six inches re-dressed the forest from mid-Trail on out. Since then, we’ve had a few other lesser droppings causing not too much strain, but still a pain. If I’m going to have to move the fluff, my time seems worthy of a substantial dose.                                                                                                                                                                           
It’s notable that man-made piles of plowed white stuff are growing to cause visibility problems at road intersections, and mail boxes are getting hard to find. Furthermore, while stepping off the beaten path I’ve found it knee high to nearly waist deep in places along the Mile O Pine.                                                                                      
Most people acquainted with me know of my passion for the winter season. So they’ll understand my fascination with being out in the snow whether it’s removing the bleached essence or just meandering through it. There’s almost nothing I can think of to match the solitude of frozen crystals descending from the heavens.                                                                                                                              
In spite of the worry about what an approaching vehicle might do during winter driving conditions, a truly enjoyable experience for yours truly is a drive through Gunflint country as flakes are coming down. Such was the case during our run to the village and back for church last Sunday.                                                                                                                                                    
Intensities of the snowy excursion varied from near white-outs at times to meandering flurries at others along the frosted continuum. The splendor of a “Hallmark Card”, scene in the making, was something to behold with each passing Gunflint mile. My enchantment probably sounds a little hokey, but such wilderness treks have un-believable charm. If one enjoys the beauty of nature in winter you just have to be here to fully appreciate.                                                                                                          
Thursdays find me blazing the Trail into Grand Marais to file my weekly scoop in the WTIP studios. Nearly every week someone in town will ask, did you see any critters on the way in. While many trips are uneventful in terms of animal sightings, this past week a fine looking moose cow briefly interrupted the run. It’s always exciting when one encounters one of these north woods icons, especially, when its’ not a close call with the vehicle.                                                                                      
With the deer population nearly depleted in the upper Trail, it’s almost as unusual to see a white tail as to see a member of the declining moose heard. Friends came upon a singleton deer on south Gunflint Lake Road recently. It seemed to be in an exhausted state walking right down the middle of the road.                                                                                                               
The antlerless critter refused to move out of the way, apparently finding the plowed road easier wayfaring than the deep snow filled ditches. After about a half mile of taking its share of the right-away out of the middle, it finally moved over so the vehicle could pass. Even then, the usually flighty animal did not bound away from danger. The situation would make one wonder if the deer had been in a run for its life and was just too drained to do be bothered by anything other than survival struggles.                                                                                                  
On another note, deer predators remain on the hunt. With almost nightly regularity, one makes a trip down the Mile O Pine. Minor snows of late have left fresh tracking paths from Wildersmith to our mail box location about two miles away.                                                                                   
I find “Brother Wolf” to be steadfastly focused on its mission down the road. An occasional stop to mark territorial boundaries is all that breaks the relentless straight line pattern of paw prints between the snow banks. In contrast, fox and coyotes, those distant cousins, wander in all directions sniffing every potential link to a meal source buried in white.                                                                                                                                                                  
In a follow-up to last weeks’ commentary on north-country water quality issues, I received copy of a new publication specific to Cook County. The document is the first in a series of reports on the status of water conditions in County lakes.                                                   
Entitled “Water Watch”, it’s a collaborative newsletter produced by “Lake Superior North Watershed Project” (funded by the MPCA); Cook County Coalition of Lake Associations (CCCola); with contributions from County AIS Coordinator and Karen Evens (MPCA). At first reading, I find this issue to be well done and highly informative!                                                                                     
Initial deliveries are going out to area lake association presidents for distribution to their members.                                                                                                                                                                   
This is Fred Smith, on the Trail, at Wildersmith. Have a great Valentine’s Day!
 
 (photo by Gordon Haber via Wikimedia Commons)
 

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West End News: February 11

Congratulations to the Cook County High School Alpine Ski team on their highly successful season.  The girl’s team recently won the Section 7 championship, competing against more than 20 other teams, including some perennial powerhouses. 
 
Head Coach Charles Lamb, from Schroeder, has done a terrific job with the team.  He has sacrificed nearly all his fishing time to his coaching duties.  If you knew how much Charles likes to fish, you would really appreciate his commitment to the cause.
 
I’d also like to point out how lucky we are to have the premier ski area in the Midwest right here in the West End.  Not only is Lutsen Mountains a great facility, they have a long history of supporting the high school team.  They also support a strong junior program that is clearly paying off at the high school and college level for kids across Cook and Lake Counties.  Who knows when and where the next Cindy Nelson or Lindsey Vonn will appear.
 
It was fun to see Lutsen’s own Willard Nelson on virtually every regional media outlet as he celebrated the 75th anniversary of his induction into World War II military service. I saw Willard interviewed on Channel 6 while he was attending a reunion of other veterans at the Pickwick in Duluth. 
 
Many people who don’t know Willard may have been surprised to hear him say he is 101 years old. Here in the West End, no one is surprised that Willard is still going strong after an eventful 100 plus years of life. His quick wit and outgoing personality have made him a West End legend. He mentioned in his TV interview that he is the oldest resident on the North Shore. Knowing Willard, I’m sure that it’s an accurate statement.
 
Just a quick second notice that the Bloodmobile will be at Zoar Lutheran Church in Tofte on Tuesday, March 1, from 2:30 through 6 pm. Call Carla at 663-0179 for an appointment. That is the same day as the Republican and Democratic precinct caucuses, so you can make a life saving donation and then nominate a nation saving presidential candidate in rapid succession. That’s what I call a productive day.
 
The recent Powerball frenzy reminded me of a conversation I had with my dad when the state lottery authorization was on the ballot back in 1989.  Without giving it much thought, I had drifted into thinking that a lottery was harmless fun that would generate significant tax income dedicated to improving Minnesota’s environment. When I offhandedly mentioned my opinion to my dad, he reacted forcefully, giving me a quick five-minute lesson on why lotteries are misguided and immoral.
 
His points were that a lottery is basically a tax on people who can afford it the least. Research shows that Minnesotans spend $82 each on lottery and scratch-off tickets every year. Even more disturbing is a 1999 Duke University study finding that people with an annual income of less than $10,000 average just under $600 annually on lottery games.
 
It’s easy to get caught up in the fantasy of gaining unimaginable wealth through pure luck. The reality is that winning is basically impossible. In 2015, Powerball changed the game to make the winning odds even worse, which drives up jackpots, which in turn drives up ticket sales. You are 246 times more likely to be struck by lightning, but the odds don’t really matter when people imagine themselves as a billionaire. Just to add insult to injury, the majority of people who win large jackpots usually regret it after a few years. It ruins their friendships, family relationships, and often ends in heartbreak and even broken physical and mental health.
 
What about those taxes for the environment and education? That must be a good thing, right? In fact, in the last Powerball cycle, Minnesotans spent 87 million dollars on tickets - 66 million dollars left the state while 21 million was received by the state. In other words, we are burning four dollars for every dollar of tax revenue. 
 
The windfall for the environment and education is a myth. Over time, the lottery revenue just replaces regular tax dollars, so there is no net gain in the budgets for the good causes. The displaced tax revenue is often returned as tax cuts, so at the end of the day, the lottery amounts to the poor subsidizing the rich. Does that sound like smart policy?
 
After hearing all this from my dad back in ’89, I voted no on the constitutional question allowing Minnesota to establish a legal lottery. After the question passed, I resolved to never participate in the lottery. Every time there is a huge jackpot and I have to wait in line at the store as people purchase their tickets, I joke that I expect to win the lottery even though I’ve never bought a ticket. The chances of my winning and the person buying the ticket winning are essentially the same.
 
A fair wage for real work is a much better policy for the country, the state and the beautiful West End.
 
 

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Acorn

A Year in the Wilderness: February 10 - Acorn in the Tent

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 traveling the BWCAW.

(Photo courtesy of Dave and Amy's Facebook page)

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Wildersmith on the Gunflint: February 5

Here we are into month two already. Although January seemed long, it was not as long as it might have been if this area was having a traditional winter.                                                                      
Having passed the legendary woodchuck/whistle pig/ground hog day, our part time winter reached the half-way mark just a day or so ago according to the calendar. If conditions follow suit for the second half, our semi-winter is sure to be taking on a spring look sooner rather than later.                                                                                                                                
As to the cranky critter with presumed prognosticating capabilities seeing its shadow and bailing back into its burrow for six more weeks of winter, the calendar says we’re going to have it in some form regardless. Furthermore, the gnawing little nuisance was still snoring away in this neck of the woods on the second February day. Moreover, at this latitude it will likely not make an appearance until late April.                                                                                                                             
In addition, a weather observer/researcher down in Iowa contends the buck-tooth varmint is accurate less than fifty percent of the time. By comparison, this degree of rodent dependability equates closely with those who get paid to sensationalize our atmospheric happenings. Thusly, neither source is too reliable.                                                                                                                                 
In conclusion, whatever one thinks about this shadowy marmot spoof, the folk tale lines up quite well with our current array of aspiring presidential hopefuls, whose rhetoric predict this and promise that with, at best, perhaps an even lesser chance of ever delivering.                                                                                                                           
Meanwhile the Gunflint area experienced a brief spring like interlude last weekend with temps along some parts of the Trail perking up over the freezing mark. This spike made short work of the few inches of new white dropped on us a couple days earlier and had roof edge icicles growing to new lengths. Now it’s colder once again.                                                                                                                                                             
It would seem the sudden warm-up did not lend itself well to the start of the Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon. With soft and sticky snow, it’s for certain those canine athletes labored long and hard. They like the moose would much prefer twenty below instead of that much above zero. See results of how our local entries finished on WTIP.org.                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
Calling all power sledders’! The long distance poker game hits the Trails Sunday morning at nine am. Entries will depart from the Cook County Ridge Riders clubhouse on the Devil Track Lake south shore. Trails will be alive with screaming snowmobiles as the players make five stops at various lodges for their card hands before heading back for a five thirty pm call. This event is always a fun time for those sledding folks. Participants are wished a safe run and good luck!                                                                                                                                                                                          
With lakes frozen over, not many give thought to the ever increasing threat of invasive species in our pristine waters. However, if there are some such critters in border country waters they are not going away just because it’s cold outside.                                                                                                       
The International Lake of the Woods Watershed Board met in mid-November and discussed a number of International border water quality issues.  Gunflint Lake resident Jerry Caple is a Community Advisor to the Board. He reports one item of discussion was the correlation between Calcium levels and invasive species, notably rusty crayfish and zebra mussels.                                                                                                                                                                    
This is a concern due to Calcium residue run-off from its use on roads draining into streams feeding watershed lakes. The prospect of such accumulations is pertinent because these invasive species take hold and are supported by high levels of Calcium.                                                                                                                     
This scenario should be of considerable interest to those of us in the upper Trail water shed what with years of continued calcium and other chemical treatments on county roads. Lake property owners along the Gunflint Byway might want to get into the information loop about implementing a plan for their lake water testing, if not already doing so. Water quality and testing info can be obtained from Ilena Berg at Cook County Soil and water.                                                                                                                                                                           
On a related note, the Gunflint Lake Property Owners are in the early stages of building a data base by testing inflow samplings in select locations for Ph, temperature and conductivity. The group will also begin Calcium testing (which is relatively in-expensive) this coming spring.  All this is being done to affect change should test data provide evidence of our lake water quality being compromised.                                                                                                                                                               
Further water quality issues data can be found in the Heart of the Continent Partnership’s” new outdoor news source.” By contacting Charlene Mason wandcmason@frontiernet.net  one can subscribe to this online magazine for free. It often has articles or synopsis of scientific research covering water/shed quality issues.                                                            
This is Fred Smith, on the Trail, at Wildersmith!  It’s the month of hearts, chocolates and the Ojibwe “sucker moon”, enjoy it in a Gunflint way!
 

(photo by Ladycamera via Wikimedia Commons)

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A Year in the Wilderness: February 4 - Slush

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 traveling the BWCAW.

(Photo courtesy of Dave and Amy's Facebook page)

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West End News: February 4

Last week I mentioned a university study that is looking at what economic and social changes are coming to the North Shore due to climate change.  The two-year study is ready to report its initial findings at a meeting in Lutsen on Tuesday, March 15th.  You must RSVP to attend.  Contact Karen Katz at katzx096@umn.edu or 651-246-0974.  You can find Karen’s contact information on the WTIP website, or by calling WTIP.
 
I know that many people in Cook County are very concerned about the impact of climate change on our economy and life style, so the study results should be very interesting. 
 
By the way, there is a Cook County Chapter of the Citizen’s Climate Lobby.  You can sign up to be a local member by searching for Citizen’s Climate Lobby online.
 
The next West End visit of the Bloodmobile is scheduled for Tuesday, March 1st at Zoar Lutheran Church in Tofte from 2:30 through 6 pm.  Call Carla at 663-0179 to schedule your appointment to donate blood.  All blood types are needed, but they are particularly interested in type O negative.  If you haven’t donated blood before, it is easy, almost pain-free and a fun social event. 
 
The Finland area 2016 Community Conversation was held on January 9th at the Clair Nelson Community Center with a contra-dance afterward.
 
More than 50 people attended the Conversation and enjoyed a lasagna dinner with ice cream dessert and a lively discussion on topics ranging from food and farming to housing, the economy and the arts. Each table recorded their discussion on paper and shared their findings with the larger group. Afterwards, everyone present marked community priorities with sticky dots.
 
Some of the priorities identified included the Finland Community Mural, which is currently in the works, a coffee/tea cafe, a wild rice processing facility, a community barter book and better onsite camping at the Clair Nelson Center.
 
Many other topics were raised and will continue to be worked on by those that are interested.  You can find the details by searching for “Friends of Finland” online.
 
Now that the Iowa caucuses are in the record book, it’s time to start thinking about our own Minnesota precinct caucuses. Here in Cook County the Republican and Democratic, Farmer, Labor Party precinct caucuses will all be on Tuesday, March 1st, starting at 7 pm. 
 
The Republicans will hold all of their precinct caucuses at the same time at the Log 4H Building at the Cook County Community Center in Grand Marais. 
 
The DFL precinct caucuses will be held in four locations this year.  Schroeder, Tofte and Lutsen will be at the Birch Grove Community Center in Tofte, while the Grand Marais area precincts will meet at the Cook County Community Center in Grand Marais.  Hovland and Grand Portage will meet at the Hovland Town Hall and the Gunflint Trail precinct will meet at Trail Center.
 
You can go to the Minnesota Secretary of State website to discover which precinct you live in, if you aren’t sure.  You can also call the always-helpful Cook County Auditor’s office and they can tell you too.
 
Both parties will be conducting straw polls on presidential candidate preference. With lively contests for president in both parties, the caucuses should be a lot of fun.  You can throw your hat in the ring to become a delegate to the county-wide party conventions and on up the line to a state senate district conventions, congressional district conventions, state conventions and even the national conventions.  Participation can be very meaningful, especially in a big election year like this one.
 
You can also present resolutions at your caucus, requesting that your party take a certain position on an issue that is important to you.  The resolutions flow through the process right up to the state and federal level where, if they have enough grassroots support they become the official goals of the party.
 
I started participating in my precinct caucus when I was in high school.  I’ve been a delegate to the state convention many times.  It has given me the honor of meeting many of Minnesota’s most famous and well-loved political figures.  It was my participation that caused Senator Paul Wellstone to ask me to run for the legislature in 2002.  Although I never made it to the legislature, having the Senator’s trust and support is still one of the highlights of my life.
 
It’s truly a case of doing as much, or as little, as you like so the process is very user friendly.  It’s also the basis of our democracy so, you know…, important.
 
For WTIP, this is Bill Hansen with the West End News.
 

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