West End News June 16

A USFS Beaver Aircraft takes off as part of the search for Ty Sitter. More on the story: http://bit.ly/lRBiLM
A USFS Beaver Aircraft takes off as part of the search for Ty Sitter. More on the story: http://bit.ly/lRBiLM

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Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the young man who tragically lost his life while fishing on Swan Lake in the BWCA Wilderness last week. Deadly accidents are always sad, but so much more so when the victim is young. The sense of lost potential adds a sharpness to the grief.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the many fine folks who respond to emergency situations in Cook County. The sheriff and his deputies, rescue squads, firemen, EMTs, pilots, conservation officers, Forest Service personnel and plain old volunteers, all stand ready to throw themselves into this very difficult work on a moment’s notice. On behalf of the entire community, I say thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

The Town of Tofte is planning its fireworks show for the Fourth of July this year. I have no idea how many years this patriotic celebration has been going on, but I do remember Orton Tofte telling me that back in the day, someone in Tofte had a real cannon and on the Fourth they would anchor a couple of retired fishing skiffs out on the big lake in front of the Tofte Park and the local men would blaze away with the cannon until the skiffs were sunk. No one knows what happened to the cannon, but Orton did mention that its demise was probably a good thing for the general safety of the townspeople. In any case, the Town of Tofte is asking for some volunteers to provide information and directions during the fireworks this year. If you can help out, call Jim King at 663-7409.

Arrowhead Electric Co-operative announced at their annual meeting last week that they have purchased 85 miles of fiber optic cable for the first phase of installing true broadband internet to all of Cook County. The fiber will start in Lutsen and be built toward Schroeder during the current construction season. Arrowhead is asking people to sign up for a priority waiting list through pre-registration. At the annual meeting, so many people were signing up that they ran out of forms. The pre-registration form is now online at Arrowhead’s website, or through a link found on boreal.org. I am very excited for the advent of true broadband in Cook County. A friend was visiting us from the Twin Cities the other day and asked to borrow our computer to check her email. As Gmail was loading she asked us if our Internet connection was broken because it took so long to load. When I explained that it was always that slow and that we paid $250 per month for the service, she was amazed. The best part of broadband will probably be the things we haven’t even thought of yet. Just think back a dozen or so years to the time when we didn’t have Google, Wikipedia, Facebook or Boreal News. If I could only imagine the next big thing, I’d be a rich man.

Speaking of Boreal Access, they are currently carrying an ad from Moguls restaurant at Lutsen Mountains for a Father’s Day special that grants a free beer to every father who orders the all-you-can-eat ribs special (hint). Boy, that sounds like a good deal to me (hint). I hope all Cook County families will take advantage of this generous offer (hint).

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