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West End News: June 20

Tofte Township fireworks
Tofte Township fireworks

WEN_20130620_finalcut.mp37.84 MB

Planning is in full swing for the famous Tofte Fourth of July celebration.  The big news this year is that the fireworks will be on Friday, July 5, rather than on the Fourth.  This will allow fireworks fans to catch the fireworks in Grand Marais on the Fourth and then Tofte’s spectacular show on the fifth. 
The rest of the celebration will be on Thursday, July 4, around the Tofte Park and firehall, starting at 11 a.m. and ending at 5 p.m.  The parade, which is always a highlight, will start at 2 p.m.  There will be a dunk tank again this year with the proceeds going to the dunkee’s charity of choice.  If you’d like to be dunked and raise some money for your favorite cause, call Dorrie at 370-0518 for a time slot.
Another change in this year’s Tofte Fourth of July, is that all the children’s activities will be at the Birch Grove Community Center.  The balloon toss and bouncy house will be set up there.  The Birch Grove Foundation will be serving wood-fired breakfast pizza starting at 8 a.m. until all the pizza is eaten.
The Town of Lutsen is hosting an open house at their spanking new Town Hall and Fire Hall on Monday, June 24 from 5:30 until 8 p.m.  Fireman’s chili and tours will be offered, along with the chance to meet the dedicated volunteers from the Lutsen Fire Department and Rescue Squad.
The community of Finland was surprised to receive a state grant recently that paid off the remaining quarter of a million dollar debt owed on the Clair Nelson Community Center in Finland.  Representative David Dill was able to obtain the grant from excess taconite tax money that came available due to better than anticipated taconite production last year. 
The Clair Nelson Community Center, named after the late Lake County Commissioner Clair Nelson, is a wonderful new facility that is paying big dividends to the Finland community.  Thanks are due to Rep. Dill, along with congratulations to all the volunteers who have worked so hard to make it a reality.
Andie Peterson, author, award winning teacher, former mayor and all around renaissance woman, just completed a 10-year term as the president of the Schroeder Area Historical Society.  She was acknowledged at the recent annual meeting, where more than 70 members enjoyed a delicious ham dinner.  Andie will be staying on the board, so her wisdom won’t be lost to the organization.  Congratulations to Linda Lamb, who was elected to be the new president.
The next upcoming event at the Cross River Heritage Center is a Vintage Tea on Saturday, June 29 at 1 p.m.  Everyone is welcome and is being asked to bring a vintage or historic item to share with everyone.  I can guarantee that many great stories will be told.  For more information about the Schroeder Historical Society and the Cross River Heritage Center, call Susan at 663-7706.
I recently caught wind that the Human Development Center in Grand Marais is offering new mental health services for young children.  Cecilia Bloomquist is currently being trained to offer therapy for children from 2 to 6 years to help with disruptive behavior.  The therapy is evidence based and includes training for the parents.  Appointments can be made now and she will start providing the service when her training is complete in a couple of weeks.
This is a great new service being offered to our community, because research clearly shows that young children with mental health problems can often be treated very effectively.  Early treatment can prevent serious problems later in life.
Cecilia, who is a clinical social worker, also is offering in-home mental health diagnostic assessments for children ages 0 to 5.  You can reach her at the Human Development Center by calling 387-9444.
In my humble opinion, the day that the dragonflies emerge should be a county-wide holiday.  The dragonflies emerged in force this week and the black flies were gone within a day or two. 
Back in the ‘60s, my dad actually researched the possiblity of raising dragonflies in tanks and adjusting their environment to get them to hatch early. This was right after local resorts were forced to stop spraying their properties with DDT fog.  It turns out that the dragonfly life cycle is complicated and probably impossible to manupulate.  It was a good thought, but as we seem to learn over and over again, it’s not wise to mess with nature.
For WTIP, this is Bill Hansen with the West End News.

{photo by Molly Breslin}