Around Cook County
Minnesota Sea Grant is hosting the final segment in a three-part speaker series on Climate Change, Thursday, September 26 at the Harbor House Grille in Grand Marais, starting at 7:30 p.m. (Click on link to WTIP below to hear an interview with Sea Grant Climate Change Extension Educator Hilarie Sorensen.)
The featured speaker is Dr. Robert Richardson from Michigan State University. Dr. Richardson will be speaking about climate change impacts on tourism and recreation and implications for the North Shore.
Dr. Richardson is an Associate Professor of Sustainable Development at Michigan State University. He is an applied economist with interests in the study of environment and development, particularly the contribution of ecosystem services and natural resources to socioeconomic well-being. He holds a PhD in agricultural and resource economics from Colorado State University. His teaching, research, and outreach program focuses mainly on sustainability and development. His research has included assessments of the role of environmental resources in development, vulnerability to climate change, and tradeoffs in decision making about natural resource management.
Harbor House Grill, is located at 411 Highway 61 in Grand Marais. Food and drinks will be available for purchase.
Insurance, finances and remodeling under discussion at the Cook County North Shore Hospital & Care Center board meetingFri, 09/27/2013 - 1:02pm
In the summer of 2012, a coalition of Minnesota conservation groups calling themselves Mining Truth started a public dialogue surrounding the proposed Polymet and Twin Metals mines near Lake Superior and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
The coalition is continuing a public debate over four questions they feel Governor Dayton and mining companies should be able to answer before allowing the mines to proceed. (Click on link to WTIP below to hear an interview with Aaron Klemz of Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness.)
Those questions are:
1) Will Minnesota’s water stay safe and clean?
2) Are there safeguards in place for when things go wrong?
3) Will the company leave the site clean and maintenance-free?
4) Will Minnesota’s taxpayers be protected?
Bethlehem Lutheran of Grand Marais is hosting its annual Harvest Dinner in support of Zion Lutheran of Finland. The church was destroyed by fire this spring and proceeds from the dinner will be dedicated to their building fund. A special offering basket will be available for additional contributions to Zion Lutheran.
The meal will be served from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 27. The traditional menu will include fishcakes, baked ham, parsley buttered potatoes, garden vegetables, beet pickles and rye bread. The church is handicap-accessible but take-home dinners can be requested at the ticket table or by calling Bethlehem at (218) 387-2227 Monday through Thursday and reserving a dinner. Ticket prices are $12 for adults and $5 for children.
This is a great opportunity to enjoy a traditional meal and support the work of Bethlehem Lutheran Church Women and the need of Zion Lutheran of Finland. We will not have financial support from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans this year, so your attendance and gifts will be much appreciated by both congregations.
Dovetail Partners, which has been working with the Cook County Local Energy Project (CCLEP) over the last couple of years to study the feasibility of biomass energy projects in Cook County, has published a report on its findings. The study also included biomass feasibility in the city of Ely.
The study investigated biomass energy options, impacts and trade-offs for the two communities.
The final report, Community-Driven Biomass Energy Opportunities: A Northern Minnesota Case Study, describes the interest of the two communities in using timber harvest residuals, sub-merchantable timber, and waste wood to heat homes, businesses, and government buildings in either stand-alone or district energy systems.
The case studies provide insight into developing and implementing bioenergy facilities and address the topics of wood supply, technological options, financial feasibility, emissions, environmental impacts, and supply chain opportunities and hurdles. Several alternatives were investigated that can aid other communities interested in bioenergy facilities.
Project funding was provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR), the Cook County Board of Commissioners, and the USFS Wood Education and Resource Center. The Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund is a permanent fund constitutionally established by the citizens of Minnesota to assist in the protection, conservation, preservation, and enhancement of the state’s air, water, land, fish, wildlife, and other natural resources.
The Grand Marais/Cook County Airport Commission continues its effort to extend the existing airport runway 4,200 feet to 5,000 feet. The airport commission appears to have satisfied state and federal environmental and cost-benefit requirements and can proceed to project design.
A key reason the airport commission has pursued the runway expansion for many years is that the existing runway is too short to support state and federal fire-fighting aircraft. As a consequence, aircraft fighting forest fires in Cook County, such as during the 2007 Ham Lake fire must operate from airports much more distant from the blaze. This reduces their ability to quickly suppress an emerging fire or contain a large blaze.
A 5,000-foot runway, Airport Manager Rodney Roy explained, is an FAA standard that allows larger aircraft to accelerate to takeoff speed and still safely stop if necessary, before running out of runway.
Numerous state and federal agencies, along with the Cook County Chamber of Commerce and Cook County health-care agencies and others, have provided strong support for the runway extension.
To raise community awareness of the airport’s role and explain the runway extension project, the Grand Marais/Cook County Airport Commission and the Cook County Chamber jointly are planning a “Fall Color Fly-In and Open House” at the airport on Sept. 28. More information on that event will be announced shortly.