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Moose Rut Time

Boundary Waters Blog - 7 hours 8 min ago

A house at the end of the Gunflint Trail is a great place to live but I sure would have liked to have been visiting this house in Anchorage for the opportunity to see wildlife perform like this video shows.

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10/5/15 - The hard working Sawbill Fall crew went out for their traditional October bowling night at the Silver Bowl bowling alley in Silver Bay.

Sawbill Newsletter - Mon, 10/05/2015 - 2:49pm

10/5/15 - The hard working Sawbill Fall crew went out for their traditional October bowling night at the Silver Bowl bowling alley in Silver Bay.

The good folks at the Silver Bowl are nice enough to stay open late to allow us to bowl ourselves silly after the Sawbill store closes for the night. - Bill

The bowling Sawbill Fall crew of 2015.

Our friendly hosts at the Silver Bowl.

Brian shows the proper technique for the perfect gutter ball.

Buck shows that he, unlike the rest of us, actually knows how to bowl.

Bill and Cindy attempt to simultaneously pick up nearly identical spares.

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Join the Arrowhead Cooperative Solar Community Today

Arrowhead Electric - Mon, 10/05/2015 - 1:50pm


Arrowhead Cooperative Members may now subscribe to the Solar Community!

Panels are available for $1,300, payable up front in full or financed over two years and charged directly on your electric bill. The members receive a monthly credit on their electric bills based on the monthly output of the array.

Check out some Frequently Asked Questions and review the Agreement Terms.

For more information contact our office at 218-663-7239 or email us at


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Indigenous Peoples' Day Grand Marais

Grand Marais Mayor Blog - Mon, 10/05/2015 - 1:00pm
I returned yesterday to my beloved town after spending about 2 weeks on a working vacation out in North Dakota. As beautiful as it is, there is truly NO PLACE LIKE HOME!

As I tried to settle in, I read some of the news of the past few weeks and reflected on all of the commentary I have heard concerning Indigenous Peoples Day and the honoring of those people who came before us and first inhabited this area, laying down a foundational culture that we still rely on today.

With that said, and with my limited ability to impact this situation, I would like to make the following proclamation:

WHEREAS, the City of Grand Marais recognizes that the Indigenous Peoples of the lands that would later become known as the Americas have occupied these lands since time immemorial; and
WHEREAS, the City of Grand Marais recognizes that Grand Marais is built upon and shares the homelands and villages of the Indigenous Peoples of this region, without whose knowledge, labor, technology, science, philosophy, arts, and deep cultural contribution the building of the City and the City’s character would not have been possible; and
WHEREAS, the City of Grand Marais has a responsibility to oppose the systemic racism and misunderstanding towards Indigenous People in the United States, which perpetuates poverty and income inequality, and erodes access to health, education, and social stability; and
WHEREAS, Indigenous Peoples’ Day was first proposed in 1977 by a delegation of Native Nations to the United Nations sponsored International Conference on Discrimination Against Indigenous Populations in the Americas;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that I, Jay Arrowsmith DeCoux, Mayor of the City of Grand Marais, do hereby proclaim the following:
Section 1. The Indigenous Peoples’ Day shall be an opportunity to celebrate the thriving cultures and positive values of the Indigenous Peoples of our region.
Section 2. The Cook County Public Schools and other educational institutions are encouraged to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
Section 3. The businesses, organizations, and public institutions are encouraged to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
Section 4. Indigenous Peoples’ Day shall be used to reflect upon the ongoing struggles of Indigenous People, and to celebrate the thriving culture and value that Indigenous nations add to our city.
Section 5. The second Monday in October shall be declared as Indigenous Peoples’ Day in the City of Grand Marais.
Jay Arrowsmith DeCoux
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Join the Arrowhead Cooperative Solar Community!

Arrowhead Electric - Mon, 10/05/2015 - 10:41am




We’re open! The Arrowhead Cooperative Solar Community is now open for members! Subscribe to a panel and receive a credit on your monthly electric bill. Come by our office this week to learn more or call us at 218-663-7239.


Arrowhead Cooperative is thrilled to have the first community solar array in Cook County.

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Weekly Look-ahead 10-5-15

The week of October 5th rock blasting will be completed on the north side for the new Care Center and Hospital Additions. The weeks of October 5th and 12th the concrete footings/foundation walls will continue on the south and start on the north. Excavation for foundations will continue. Site utilities will start.

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First concrete pour

Thoreson’s Ready Mix trucks have arrived and delivered our first pour of concrete.  The concrete crews have formed up and poured out the new footings and foundations for the addition.

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Busy Week Again

Boundary Waters Blog - Mon, 10/05/2015 - 6:10am

Sometimes I feel like we need an event coordinator to plan our week out for us. Who is going where when and for how long.

This week Josh has a busy football schedule and Abby has a busy volleyball schedule. Josh has a JV football game in Wrenshall on Monday(about 30 minutes south of Duluth) and a 7th, 8th and 9th grade game in Aurora on Tuesday. Aurora is over 2 hours from Grand Marais on the Iron Range. Then on Friday there is a Varsity game and thankfully that is in Grand Marais.

Abby has volleyball games Monday, Tuesday and Thursday this week and luckily those are all at home. It’s a Dig Pink Fundraiser on Monday, Parent’s Night Volleyball Game on Tuesday and just a normal game on Thursday.

With Mike coaching football, bottling beer at the brewery and trying to get things closed up for winter at Voyageur his schedule is crazy too.

It won’t be too long and the hectic fall sports schedule will be over. Play-offs are right around the corner but then again so are hockey and volleyball try-outs for winter.

The thing is, no matter how busy our schedule is I love our kids and their friends. It’s fun to see them grow up, play sports and spread their wings. Our empty nest is a few years away and I know I will miss the hectic schedule when it’s gone. So, like all stages of life I better enjoy it while I can because in the blink of an eye it will be over.

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Field Trip to the End of the Gunflint Trail

Boundary Waters Blog - Sun, 10/04/2015 - 10:10pm

Tomorrow is the day when the 7th Grade students from Cook County will visit the end of the Gunflint Trail. They will learn about Fire Wise, find a few geocaches, hike some trails and paddle over to Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center.

We’re hoping for a beautiful day for the kids to enjoy the end of the Gunflint Trail. You would be surprised to know how many people don’t explore all of the ends of our big county but our great local school tries to get the students out there.

They have a Passport Program with various places in our county marked as special destinations. Throughout Grade School and Middle School the students visit the Grand Portage Area near the Canadian Border, the Schroeder Area near the county line and the Gunflint Trail. They explore natural areas like the High Falls at Pigeon River, Cascade River and more and they also visit the Cook County Historical Museum, Commercial Fishing Museum and other informative places.

We are proud to be a part of the program and love to have the students visit us at Voyageur.

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Homecoming Weekend

Boundary Waters Blog - Sat, 10/03/2015 - 9:38pm

Friday night football game, Saturday volleyball tournament and Saturday night dance, it’s Homecoming Weekend in Cook County. Lots of kids, lots of photos and lots of fun!

JV Volleyball Team Takes 1st Place

Homecoming Fun

Abby and Josh

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Where were we in September?

Unorganized Territory - Fri, 10/02/2015 - 1:37pm

Cook County News-Herald staffers love to get out and about the county. So we decided, while we are traveling the highway and bushwhacking through the forest, to take pictures to see if our readers can guess WHERE ARE WE? I’m a little late getting this one posted, so we’re asking Where were we in September?

If you know where this photos was taken, give us a note!

All of the people who entered the August contest were correct—the old car being reclaimed by the forest is on the Moose Viewing Trail off of the Gunflint Trail in Grand Marais. Drawn from the correct guesses was Nicole Bockovich of Grand Marais.

Nicole will receive a free subscription to the Cook County News-Herald.

Try your luck! Take a look at the September photo. If you think you know where this photo was taken, send us your answer.

You don’t have to be the first to reply. The location will be announced next month and a winner will be drawn from all the correct answers.

Whoever is drawn from the correct entries will win a free one-year subscription to the Cook County News-Herald (a $32 value). Good luck!

Answer to the September WHERE ARE WE? must be received by October 12, 2015.

Send your entry to:

Cook County News-Herald
PO Box 757
Grand Marais MN 55604

Drop it by our office at:

15 First Avenue West
Fax: 218-387-9500
Questions? 218-387-9100

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Serious and trivial in Unorganized Territory

Unorganized Territory - Fri, 10/02/2015 - 1:29pm

My husband Chuck and I were at an event recently, and as it frequently does, the question “What’s happening at the paper?” came up. Usually my answer is “what isn’t happening?”

Our small Cook County News-Herald staff is constantly on the run. We spend a lot of time covering meetings. There is a meeting of one of the myriad governmental entities nearly every day. There is a list on page C1 of meetings that we try to keep track off.

We don’t attend every meeting every time. It’s enough to cover the “core” newsmakers, the county, city, townships, the school, hospital and EDA boards, especially when there are big projects or actions that require special meetings.

Case in point, the hospital board with its renovation and School District 166 with its administrative shakeup. Lots of extra meetings!

We keep our ears open for news that comes out of the meetings we don’t attend. And of course, after the meetings we do make it to, there are often follow-up questions, which means phone calls and emails later.

My colleague Brian Larsen was recently asked why he wasn’t “on time” for a meeting. The reason—he had been at another meeting!

And sandwiched in between meetings of all kinds there are events of all kinds. Those are actually really fun. Because we cover celebrations, we also attend things like the Schroeder Historical Society Lunde Tour, Unplugged and Mountain Stage concerts, plays, concerts, art openings and more.

There is always something to do and something to be written up. So when my friend also asked, “So, I suppose you have several weeks of your columns typed up and ready to go?” Chuck and I burst into laughter. When I mentioned the comment to my friend Laurie in the office, she also laughed out loud.

Chuck has seen me frantically typing away in the wee hours of the morning. Coworkers have seen me putting finishing touches on Unorganized Territory in the minutes before the paper is sent off to the printer.

Our stellar proofreader Bill has also suggested that I write several columns in advance. He recommended writing random thoughts, similar to what longtime Cook County News-Herald Editor Ade Toftey used to do in his Jots by Ade column.

And a disgruntled reader recently suggested that we do away with Unorganized Territory altogether. He said the column takes up a lot of “prime space” in the paper and said it should be used for more interesting topics. The reader suggested that my column space should be used to comment on “hard current events” in Cook County and closed by saying if I am not up to the challenge, I should consider finding someone who is.

My friend, Sporto, says the same thing, albeit in a kinder, gentler way. He has scolded me for writing too much about “warm fuzzy stuff.”

I take the comments to heart and there are times when I do tackle Cook County issues. However, as I’ve explained in the past Unorganized Territory is just that—an unorganized collection of thoughts, a bit like Jots by Ade. Sometimes I do comment on local politics and infrequently on national issues. I sometimes write about the history of Minnesota or the history of my family on the North Shore. Sometimes I talk about my grandkids or pets and sometimes—well, perhaps often—I write about the weather. There is no rhyme or reason to the column, which is why it is titled Unorganized Territory.

So apologies to the folks who feel I am wasting their time. But I am going to continue writing Unorganized Territory for as long as I can. I’ve been writing the column for 16 years now, without missing a single week. So there are weeks that are trivial, the rushed, finishing-up-on deadline weeks or the weeks that someone has suggested a silly idea for a column.

But I disagree that I don’t sometimes tackle tough topics. It’s just that when I do, I try not to just spout off my opinion. I feel it is more important to encourage people to learn more about an issue and to become involved. Because wherever you live, whether you’re in unorganized territory, in the city, up the Gunflint or far away in Minneapolis or Chicago, the people who show up and speak up are the ones who make a difference.

Regular readers have heard me say more than once, more than a dozen times, probably more than a hundred times, to pay attention and get involved with politics.

And that’s not a wasted commentary at all.


There never were two opinions alike in all the world, no more than two hours or two grains; the most universal quality is diversity.

Michel de Montaigne

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Motorboat, Motorboat in the BWCA

Boundary Waters Blog - Fri, 10/02/2015 - 5:42am

When the Boundary Waters became a wilderness area certain promises were made. One promise was motors would be allowed in certain lakes  and property owners on specific chains of lakes would be exempt from any permit quota. Businesses were promised things as well.

Unfortunately all of these promises were made long ago. There have been new business owners, new people in the USFS and new groups wanting to “protect” the BWCA.  Tow boat use is now under attack.

Whether or not tow boats should be allowed is irrelevant. Tow boats are allowed and originally there was no limit on the number of trips a tow boat could make, that came later. It’s unfortunate Wilderness Watch doesn’t focus on something that could severely affect all of the lakes of the BWCA, like mining.  Worrying about 18 of the over one thousand lakes in the Boundary Waters is quite insignificant in my opinion. If a person doesn’t want to paddle where there are motor boats then there are plenty of options where motors aren’t allowed, like 978 at least.

Environmental group: Throttle back motorized Boundary Waters trips Environment Dan Kraker · Oct 1, 2015 Motorized access has been at the heart of the controversy surrounding the Boundary Waters ever since the legislation creating the wilderness area took effect on this date in 1979. Nathaniel Minor | MPR News file

An environmental group is suing the U.S. Forest Service, arguing the agency is letting outfitters run too many motorized boats to Minnesota’s Boundary Waters.

The lawsuit by Montana-based Wilderness Watch alleges the Forest Service has allowed outfitters to top the cap on motorized tow trips allowed each year. The group wants the agency to implement a new permitting process in advance of each season to ensure towboat numbers are held to the legal limit.

Twenty-three outfitters offer towboat services into the Boundary Waters. Many canoeists use the tows for quicker access to Quetico Provincial Park just across the border in Canada. According to the suit, the Forest Service’s 1993 plan caps towboat trips at 1,342 per year. The group said data from its freedom of information request show the Forest Service allowed 1,639 trips in 2011 and 2,124 last year.

Towboat traffic is especially heavy on the Moose Lake chain east of Ely, Minn., said Kevin Proescholdt, Minneapolis-based conservation director for Wilderness Watch.

“On typical summer days, the towboats are zipping back and forth, quite a bit on that chain of lakes,” said Proescholdt. “And for those of us who prefer to paddle, it really diminishes the wilderness experience when there are these towboats zooming past us again and again and again.”

Superior National Forest officials say they can’t comment on pending litigation. But motorized access has been at the heart of the controversy surrounding the Boundary Waters ever since the legislation creating the wilderness area took effect on this date in 1979. Subsequent lawsuits have limited the number of lakes accessible to motor boats. Motors are allowed now on part or all of 18 lakes in the Boundary Waters.


Remembering the Boundary Waters battles, 50 years later

Bob Olson, who runs Canoe Country Outfitters in Ely, sees this complaint as another attempt by environmental groups to pull back motorized use.

“To me it’s just another way to take all of the motors out, which is their goal,” he said. “So they just keep picking away at it. It’s just a long line of trying to take things away.”

Proescholdt, who was involved in the effort in the 1970s to create the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, says that’s not the group’s goal.

“We’re not trying to end motorboat use. We’re not trying to end commercial towboat use,” he said. “We’re trying to get the Forest Service to follow the law.”

Outfitters pay the Forest Service 3 percent of their towing fees. At the end of each season, they submit detailed reports. But the lawsuit alleges some outfitters underreported the number of towboat trips made and the number of boats used. Wilderness Watch argues that some outfitters excluded certain tow trips from their reports. The group also says one outfitter reported single “trips” that included 18 boats and 72 clients while others counted separate drop-off and pick-up trips as one single trip.

Mike Prom, who runs Voyageur Canoe Outfitters at the end of the Gunflint Trail on Saganaga Lake, says the claims of a big jump in tow traffic into the BWCA don’t match what he’s seen and that trips have actually fallen significantly.

“I’ve been here 23 years, and just from personal experience, there’s less tows,” he said. “People don’t want a tow at 2 in the afternoon, they want a tow right away in the morning, 7 or 8 o’clock, or they’ll paddle.”

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It Really Was a Great September

Boundary Waters Blog - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 10:36pm

I knew September was a beautiful month, at least for those of us who like warm weather. It was the warmest September recorded for Minnesota!

Minnesota had warmest September on record By John Myers on Sep 30, 2015 at 7:58 p.m. The long, glorious summer of 2015 just kept rolling along into early autumn, giving Minnesota its warmest September in recorded history.

The Minnesota State Climatology Office says the average statewide temperature for September 2015 will come in above 64 degrees, smashing the old record of 63 degrees set in 1897.

The records go back to 1895, said Pete Boulay, state climatologist.

“In general, Septembers have been warming across the state, and this was the warmest September yet,” Boulay said.

The average temperature in Duluth this September was nearly 60 degrees, and nearly 6 degrees above the normal since records have been kept at Duluth International Airport, starting in 1948. That should be good for second or third warmest September on the list, behind the record 62.1 degree set in 2009.

Duluth still hasn’t seen its first official frost of the season with 36 degrees Wednesday the coldest morning so far. On average Duluth sees its first frost either Sept. 27 or Sept. 30, depending on what period of records are used.

Using the 30-year normals from the National Weather Service, Sept. 30 is now the average first frost, a full week later than it used to be, Sept. 23, just a decade ago.

The average monthly temperature in Duluth has risen a half-degree per decade since the 1940s, Boulay noted.

Many areas of Northeastern MInnesota away from Lake Superior saw frost or freeze levels Tuesday and Wednesday morning, including Cook, Hibbing, International Falls and Ely.

The average first frost for areas adjacent to Lake Superior usually comes in October, with the latest at the Duluth Harbor at Oct. 18.

September was the seventh consecutive above normal month for Duluth. Temperatures have been generally in the 70s or warmer — one measure of summerlike weather — since about June 7 in Duluth, marking some 14 weeks of summerlike temperatures.

Since May 27 there have been 33 days with temperatures in the 80s or warmer and only 23 days with highs in the 60s or cooler.

“It’s been a noticeably long summer in Minnesota,” Boulay noted. “That’s something we can all appreciate when winter comes.”

The National Climate Prediction Center is forecasting mostly normal temperatures for the Northland for the next week, with highs in the upper 50s or low 60s, and lows in the 40s and upper 30s. But almost every forecast beyond that — for the next month, for autumn and for winter — is predicting above-normal temperatures for the region, thanks in part to the continued El Nino warming of Pacific Ocean waters.

September was unusually wet in Duluth as well as warm, with 6.81 inches of rain. That’s 2.82 inches above normal and the 5th wettest record in city history.

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First Fridays, Crossing Borders & Do You Raku?

North Shore Arts Scene - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 2:41am

Fall colors have finally arrived! David Johnson calls this “Morning Mist at Cascade Bluff.”

Hiking time in Cook County! The fall colors are finally beginning, and they promise to be gorgeous this year. There are great places to drive, too, to see the very best displays. Stop by the Grand Marais Visitor Center and get a copy of the fall color tour guide they have there.

And, plan on investigating art this weekend. This is the final weekend of the Crossing Borders Studio Tour, which features open studios from Two Harbors to the Canadian border.

Here are a few photos of some of the art you will see. Many of the galleries have guest artists, too, adding to the pleasure.

Two Harbors: Blue Skies Glassworks, Cooter Pottery & Handweaving

Michael Tonder, kiln-formed glass at Blue Skies Glassworks.

Wood-fired covered pot by Dick Cooter at Cooter Pottery and Handweaving.









Both Blue Skies Glassworks and Cooter Pottery and Handweaving have a number of guest artists, too.

Lutsen: Last Chance Studios & Fabricating

Sculptor Tom Christiansen has made lots of moose for the Studio Tour. John Books and Wayne Potratz are also in the show.

Grand Marais: Betsy Bowen Studio & Galleries

“Wonder,” woodcut print by Betsy Bowen, a new Holiday card image. Bowen has a number of new images, prints and books in the gallery. Other artists featured include Ron Piercy-Silver and Gems, Stephan Hoglund- Art Jewelry. and Jim Sannerud, woodturning. Printing and woodturning demos happen each day.

Hovland:  Lee & Dan Ross

Puffins by Dan & Lee Ross. The show includes both stone and ceramic sculptures as well as monoprints.


Grand Portage: Marcie McIntire, Ojibwe bead artist

Ojibwe beadworker Marcie McIntire creates beaded clothing, moccasins  and gloves as well as jewelry in her gallery in Grand Portage.

All of the studios on the Crossing Borders Tour are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Sunday, Oct. 4. For more info and maps, see

There is lots more art to see in Cook County this weekend.

If you haven’t stopped at the Cross River Heritage Center to see the Lake Superior Watercolor Society exhibit there, it’s a must-stop this season. The Heritage Center has a number of other exhibits as well. The Heritage Center is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday from 1-4 p.m.

Plein air painter David Gilsvik working on a painting during Plein Air 2015.

And the Grand Marais Art Colony‘s Plein Air Competition, Exhibit and Sale continues at the Johnson Heritage Post. In all, 70 painters from throughout the region painted the lake, the woods and the whimsies of Cook County for a week, and the results of their work are on display. It’s a beautiful show and shouldn’t be missed. The Heritage Post is open from 10 a.m.  to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sunday and Monday.

First Fridays is this week, too, so look for special exhibits and events at participating galleries and shops. Cookies baked in a wood-fired oven are on-tap at Betsy Bowen’s Studio and cellist Yvonne Caruthers will play at Sivertson Gallery from 4-6 p.m. on Friday as well.

Raku firings behind Sivertson Gallery will be held on Saturday.

And on Saturday, Sivertson Gallery will hold its annual raku extravaganza with award-winning raku artists, Richard Gruchalla and Carrin Rosetti. The couple brings lots of tea bowls ready to be glazed and a portable raku kiln to fire them. Buy a bowl and glaze it yourself. It’s always a fun time. “Do You Raku? We Do” is held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Also on Saturday, the fiddling sisters, Emma and Carrie Dlutkowski, will perform at the Grand Marais Public Library at 1 p.m. Together with their mother Susan, accompanying on piano, the trio draws on the dynamic music of Canadian and American fiddle and dance traditions. All invited.

Porcelain raku horsehair urn by Maggie Anderson.

Potter Maggie Anderson has brought in new work to the Kah-Nee-Tah Gallery in Lutsen. Anderson has now moved to Cook County permanently and will be teaching a beginning ceramics class at the Grand Marais Art Colony this month. To find out more, call the Art Colony at 218-387-2737 or click here.

And finally, poet Jill Breckinridge will read from her book, “Sometimes …” at a Writer’s Salon at Drury Lane Books at 5 p.m. Saturday.

In Thunder Bay next week, Definitely Superior Gallery will present Random Acts of Poetry Oct. 5-10, where poets and singer/songwriters will perform for the public on the streets, at city council meetings, at cafes  and other public places throughout the city of Thunder Bay. The event is an initiative to promote literacy, art and poetry in places where people live their everyday lives. In all, 25 of Thunder Bay’s finest spoken word and singer-songwriters will perform in 120 individual performances. For the schedule of performances, click here.

Thomas Spence opens an exhibit of his photographs at the Coho Cafe this week.

In other art news, Thomas Spence opens a show of his photography at the Coho Cafe in Tofte this week. The exhibit runs through November.

The Thunder Bay Art Gallery is featuring four  exhibitions this month, including works by by local artists Susan Kachor Conlon, Carol Kajorinne, and Shayne Ehman, along with St. Paul-based artist Anne Labovitz, as well as 14 works from the collection by Carl Ray created in the 1970s.

Erik Simula teaches a Discovery Channel crew about wild rice harvesting and processing.

A crew from the Discovery Channel’s “How It’s Made” were filming at North House Folk School last week. Over five days, they filmed three instructors doing four different crafts–Erik Simula, (wild rice harvesting and processing); Dennis Chilcote (birch bark berry basket) and Paula Sundet Wolf (pine needle basket.) The completed segments will air sometime next year — stay tuned!

WTIP’s locally produced show, “The Music of Art” is looking for artists to be guests on upcoming shows. They will talk about their art and the music that inspires them.The show airs on Wednesdays. For more information, contact WTIP at 218-387-1070 or email

Searching for Mary Beams

Mary Beams painted these murals for a subway station in Boston in the 1970s. A nationwide search by MBTA subway officials found her in Grand Marais, now part-owner of The Pie Place.

Up until a few months ago, all of Boston, Mass., was looking for Mary Beams,  now the part owner of The Pie Place in Grand Marais. Or, as Boston Globe journalist Malcolm Gay put it, “It was like a crowd-sourced manhunt, but for an artist.”

About 35 years ago, Beams painted 19 murals for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)  “that had achieved near iconic status during their 35-year residency,”  Gay wrote. “Transportation officials had removed the paintings in advance of the station’s overhaul. Now they wanted to return them to the artist, but she had vanished.” So the officials posted a Tweet… does anybody know where the artist is? they asked.

Mary Beams in her Grand Marais studio. /Mark Tessier.

Here’s the rest of the story as Gay tells it:

“I got a phone call one day,” Beams explained, “and a voice I didn’t know said, ‘How does it feel to know that all of Boston is looking for you?’ I had no idea what to say.”
Gay continues: “Beams, it turned out, hadn’t disappeared at all. An animator who had been a teaching assistant at Harvard’s Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, and whose work has been collected by the Museum of Modern Art, she’d simply left the art world, devoting herself instead to baking pies on the shores of Lake Superior.

“A part-owner of the Pie Place Café in Grand Marais, Beams will be returning to Boston, where next month, with her blessing, the MBTA plans to hold an online public auction of the artworks, giving Bostonians a chance to own a piece of the city’s history.”  Kudos to this talented artist!

Here’s the music for this weekend:

Friday: Oct. 2

  • Briand Morrison, Voyageur Brewing Co., 4-7 p.m.
  • Michael Monroe, Bluefin Grille, Tofte, 8 p.m.
  • Ginstrings, Gun Flint Tavern, 9 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 3

  • Dutkowksi Sisters Violin Performance, Grand Marais Public Library, 1 p.m.
  • Pushing Chain, Lutsen Resort, 7 p.m.
  • Michael Monroe Log Cabin Concert, rural Grand Marais, 7 p.m., call 387-2919
  • Mary Bue, Cascade Lodge Pub, 7:30 p.m.
  • Ginstrings, Gun Flint Tavern, 9 p.m.
  • Saturday Night Dance Party with DJ Beavstar, Papa Charlie’s, 9:30 p.m.

Monday, Oct. 5:

  • Eric Frost, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 7:

  • Gordon Thorne, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.

Stories (and photos) of fall abound this week.

The Supermoon Eclipse was the big story of the day, but here in Cook County, we only got to see part of it, as clouds drifted in about halfway through the show. Nevertheless … our trusty photographer friends were out in force. Here’s a  sampling.

“Blood Moon from the Bog” by Christian Dalbec.


Mooonrise over Grand Marais Harbor by Paul Sundberg.


“Kissing the Supermoon” by David Johnson.


Some people did catch the eclipse. Here’s a  beautiful composite from Spooner, Wis. by Kathryn DesForges.

Super Harvest Blood Moon by Kathryn DesForges.


Here’s another document of change… the Paul R Tregurtha unloads what may be the last load of coal at Taconite Harbor. Thomas Spence took the photo and writes: “I am quite emotional about the probability of never seeing another laker arrive here. I was told that this is likely the last load. She leaves in the early morning hours and I’ll likely go see her off…”

Photo by Thomas Spence.

Recent rains changed the waterfalls.

Photo by Jessica Rogholt.


Fall Arrives Overnight by Bryan Hansel.


And fall colors are beginning to sparkle. Here’s a beauty by Mary Amerman.

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” ~John Muir                                          Photo by Mary Amerman.


Here’s another Thomas Spence and a harbinger of fall … a bear in an apple tree.

Thomas Spence caught this bear in an apple tree, contemplating the feast to come.


And finally, this perfect “promise of fall” shot by Thomas Spence.

Photo by Thomas Spence.

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!






















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September Leaves

Boundary Waters Blog - Wed, 09/30/2015 - 6:36am

It’s the last day of September and it’s hard to believe. Here are some September leaves to mark the occasion.

Fall Colors

Leaves on the forest floor

September Leaves


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9/29/15 - Dan Walch, longtime Sawbill canoeist, sent along this picture and note.

Sawbill Newsletter - Tue, 09/29/2015 - 9:40am

9/29/15 - Dan Walch, longtime Sawbill canoeist, sent along this picture and note. - Bill


Last Tuesday I was camping on the SW campsite on Beth waiting for the sunrise. This formation appeared and was lit up by the sun that was still below the horizon. Later while looking at the map I realized that the formation was right in-line with Sawbill Outfitters.
What has Bill been up to now?


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Fall Paddling in the BWCA

Boundary Waters Blog - Tue, 09/29/2015 - 6:47am

It’s been a super Fall for canoe camping in the Boundary Waters this year. In addition to sunshine and warm temperatures we’ve had very few windy days. The wind is one thing I do not like to hear when I’m in the BWCA and waves are things I don’t like to see, especially if I’m on a solo trip. Experience and knowledge has made me more comfortable in waves over the years. I just read an article about how to paddle in waves and it was a good refresher.

Here’s my quick list of what to do when there are scary waves on the lake.

  1. Stay put. You’re always safer on shore.
  2. If you must travel then wait until evening when the waves will most likely die down.
  3. Load your canoe with all gear below the gunwales, evenly and equally distributed.
  5. Paddle close to shore in case you capsize(this is especially important when the water is cold).
  6. Kneel in the bottom of your canoe for more stability.
  7. Keep the waves at a 45 degree angle to the canoe.
  8. Keep paddling, dig into the wave and don’t quit.

Calm Day in the BWCA

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9/28/15 - Steve and Deb Smith sent along this nice note and great photos a few weeks ago.

Sawbill Newsletter - Mon, 09/28/2015 - 10:58am

9/28/15 - Steve and Deb Smith sent along this nice note and great photos a few weeks ago. - Bill

Last weekend we were camping at your site 15, doing day trips in kayaks around Sawbill. On Saturday morning, we were fortunate to come across a cow moose and her calf on our way to Handle Lake. She was back deep in the stream chewing on lily pads and keeping cool. She actually was blocking the path to our destination. We waited 20 minutes for her to move out of the water and disappear into the woods. Needless to say we were pretty honored and excited.

However, on the way back, in about the same location, a large bull moose was cooling himself in the stream, blocking our entrance to Sawbill Lake. This was mid afternoon. You can see his velvet dangling from his antlers and the pink coloration of his antlers left over from the shed skin. I read that moose with large antlers can hear better than moose with smaller or no antlers. The antlers actually act as a sound reflector. I bet this big boy could hear us very well. We waited for probably 10 minutes for him to leave the water and then go beat up on a pine tree probably to aid in getting rid of more velvet. It was truly amazing to witness all that. None of the moose seemed to be bothered by our presence, but we gave them a pretty wide berth to keep it that way. We got a nice bunch of photos and thought you might enjoy a few.

The Sawbill area is such a wonderful area. Your campground is first class. We’ve been there multiple times and looking forward to the next one. Steve and Deb

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Polar Bear Cub Selfie

Boundary Waters Blog - Mon, 09/28/2015 - 6:29am

The mother polar bear likes her picture taken about as much as I do. She obviously doesn’t like the camera but I certainly love what the camera caught. I found this video on the Sierra Club’s website.

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