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West End News: February 19


WEN_20150219.mp34.53 MB

It’s that time year again for the kindergarten round-up at Birch Grove Community School in Tofte.  I wonder where the expression “round-up” got started in reference to recruiting kindergartners to start their long school careers.  It always creates a wonderful image in my mind of kindergarten teachers riding horses around the county and lassoing wild pre-schoolers into a herd and then escorting them to the school like horses to a corral.  From time to time, one rowdy kid breaks from the ranks and runs for the hills, only to be calmly returned to the herd by a tobacco-chewing teacher in a 10-gallon hat.
In reality, kindergarten round-up is a half day visit to the school for 4-year-olds who will be attending kindergarten next year.  You can either bring your child to Birch Grove at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Mar. 10, or call to arrange to have your child picked up by the bus. There will be special projects and activities for the children until 11:30 when the parents are invited to join their children for a community lunch.
If you aren’t available to pick up your child after lunch, all the round-up participants are invited to attend the Saplings pre-school program from noon until 5 p.m. free of charge.
For more information or to register your child, call Diane at 663-0170.  If you are new to Birch Grove, you can find out a lot about the award-winning school at  
A few weeks ago, Duluth’s Channel 8 television program, The PlayList, taped an evening of performances by Cook County musicians at Papa Charlie’s nightclub in Lutsen. The first of those performances will air Thursday, Feb. 26 at 9 p.m. and will be rebroadcast on Saturday at 3 p.m. and Sunday at 1:30 p.m.  This performance will feature Tofte singer/songwriter Eric Frost.  The talented Mr. Frost is accompanied by one of his friends, whose name escapes me right now.
Bump Blomberg and Adam Moe, who call themselves “Pushing Chain,” will appear on the PlayList in March, and the Splintertones are scheduled for sometime in April. All three performances will be available on the PlayList website after they appear over the airwaves.
It sounds like this will be the start of many visits by the PlayList to Papa Charlie’s to document the vibrant and growing music scene that Cook County is now famous for.
Tofte got a scare recently when Tofte Township Supervisor Paul James was rushed to the hospital in Duluth when he suddenly became very ill. I’m glad to report that after a scary week in the hospital, Paul is back home and on the road to recovery.
Paul has done so much for Tofte, both as a township official and as a tireless volunteer community member, that it’s hard to ponder Tofte going on without him. There’s nothing like a health scare to remind us that we should all take the time to thank the people like Paul who donate so much of their time to making the West End a better place to live.
Like so many things in life, it’s a case of not missing your water until your well goes dry, a saying that also resonates with this radio station’s “Because of You” membership drive happening this week.
We are truly blessed to have the amazing community resource that is WTIP in our community.  From great music, to local news, to emergency information, to high school sports, to hearing the warm voices of our friends and neighbors day in and day out, WTIP gives us great value for our modest contributions. 
I urge you to join me in becoming a member, or renewing your membership, or increasing your contribution if you’re a longtime supporter. This non-commercial, local radio station relies on us just as much as we rely on it.  And, you can take it from me, it’s a great feeling to be a member of this radio station.