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West End News - February 8

West End News 2/8/18
There was a good turnout from west-enders at the 2018 caucuses held in Grand Marais this week. At the Democratic Farmer Labor caucus, there was a like-minded group from Tofte, and quite a few folks from Lutsen. I can’t speak to the GOP caucus but at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts it was a energetic gathering of neighbors who spoke passionately about a variety of issues. While the caucuses may seem quaint, boring, or just a waste of time to many, they are an important first step in the election process. Caucuses lead to conventions, where candidates are endorsed. This ends up affecting who you see on your ballot in November.

This year, our district Congressman Rick Nolan is facing another DFL challenger, Leah Phifer. Given the current political climate, both candidates deserve a serious look. If you aren’t familiar with Nolan or Phifer, take a peek at what they’ve been up to and what they stand for. Leah Phifer was recently in Lutsen meeting with potential supporters, and Rick Nolan sent an aid to Tofte to hear from constituents back in January. If the west end is on their radar, they should be on ours too!

Speaking of politicians, Presidents’ Day is coming up. The Sugarbush Trail Association is hosting a candle-light ski and snowshoe on Saturday, February 18 at from 6 to 8 pm on the Onion River Road. Just head on up to the Oberg Mountain Parking lot on the Onion River Road. The Onion River Road intersects with Highway 61 about halfway between Lutsen and Tofte.  Anyone can gather on Saturday evening whether you are there to ski, snowshoe or hike. This event is a wonderful way to enjoy the quiet beauty of the Northwoods after dark by the flickering lights of candles in the snow. There will be a bonfire going at the trail head, with cocoa, cookies and conversation in abundance.

The Monday and Wednesday singer/songwriter series continues at Papa Charlie’s. This Monday, the 12th, will feature the duo Dead Horses who have shared the stage with the likes of Trampled by Turtles, Mandolin Orange, and Elephant Revival. Wednesday night will showcase Reina del Cid, whose music has been featured by Paste Magazine and NPR. As a reminder these shows are free and start at 8pm. The shows are held in a listening room environment, which means concert goers should limit conversation during the performance. These shows are a great winter gathering spot in the West End.
For WTIP, I’m Clare Shirley, with the West End News.