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West End News: June 30

As we dive into the heart of summer here in the West End community events are happening thick and fast. 
The Tofte 4th of July celebration, which is a wonderful cooperative community event for the whole West End, residents and visitors alike, is just around the corner.  The fireworks are certainly the big draw at dusk on Monday, July 4th.  The whole day is packed with fun, starting with the umteenth annual Tofte Trek foot race, fun run, walk and, this year, mud slog.  You can register at the start, which is at Birch Grove Community Center, starting at 8 am.  Racing starts at 9 am and there is something for everybody.  Live music, bingo, food, beer and visiting continue through the day, highlighted by the good old fashioned, small town parade starting at 2 pm.
This year, the Tofte Commercial Fishing Museum is inviting all descendants of North Shore fishing families to march with their fishing skiff float.  You can just show up at the parade starting area, near the Sugar Beach Resort, at 1:30 PM.  I doubt that there will be any blood tests or family tree documentation demanded, so you are on your honor to declare your connection to a fishing family.  You will probably have to run through the litany of who are your second cousins twice removed and explain why your uncle is also your grandpa – so be prepared.
You know what I’m going to say… Be there or be square.
The Cross River Heritage Center in Schroeder is hosting its annual Lundie Vacation Home Tour on July 9th.  Edwin Lundie was a celebrated architect that set the standard for Scandinavian design of classic cabins and homes on the North Shore.  The annual tour supports the Schroeder Area Historical Society when owners are generous enough to open their properties to the tour, which is hosted by a Lundie design expert.  Contact the Cross River Heritage Center at 663-7706 for information and registration.
Sugarloaf Nature Center in Schroeder is bringing back their popular Lake Superior cruise on Saturday, July 23, 5-7:30 pm.  They invite you to join other Nature Center supporters for a leisurely evening on the tour boat Wenona.  Boarding begins at 5 pm at the Silver Bay Marina with departure is at 5:30 pm. The tour includes beer, wine, hors d’ oeuvres and live music by the THUGS, also known as the Two Harbors Ukulele Group. Reserve your tickets online or call 218-525-0001.
The Memorial Blood Center Bloodmobile will be at Zoar Lutheran Church in Tofte on July 19th from 2 pm until 6 pm.  Please donate blood if you can and you will be rewarded with witty comments from the nurses, gentle gossip from your neighbors and cookie with juice when you are done.  Call Polly at 663-7398 to schedule your appointment.
There is good news from the ongoing study of moose mortality that is being sponsored by the Minnesota DNR. This year, only three of the collared moose have died, which represents a mortality rate that would lead to a rebound in the moose numbers if it continues.  Anecdotally, it seems like more moose are being seen on the roads and canoe routes this year, but I know that anecdotal sightings are not good data.  Even the documented mortality figures aren’t a large or long enough sample to establish a trend, but at least it has things going in the right direction. 
And, keeping things going in the right direction is how we like to roll here in the beautiful West End.
For WTIP, this is Bill Hansen with the West End News.