Around Cook County
Grand Marais’ Fourth of July parade topped the city council’s June 13 agenda as Chamber of Commerce Director Bev Wolke appeared with the street and sidewalk permit application for the annual event.
However, unlike other years when the permit was approved with little fanfare and as a matter of routine, there was some discussion regarding a new policy instituted by the county that requires an additional application and payment of $100. City Administrator Mike Roth said the county could assess the fee because the downtown streets on which the parade travels are classified as County State Aid roads. However, it wasn’t clear why the county has only recently begun requiring a separate permit and fee for city- or privately-sponsored events.
“This is not reasonable, especially for nonprofits,” said Councilor Tim Kennedy.
Councilor Bill Lenz agreed, observing that it is the city that organizes the special events and sets up barricades to control traffic. When it was suggested that the fee is perhaps needed to offset the cost of assistance from sheriff’s deputies, Lenz pointed out that the city pays a yearly fee to the county for such services. “We should expect something for what we pay,” he said.
Wolke said the new process is “slightly more complicated and expensive,” and requires her to get three permits (rather than one from the city, for which there is no charge) for each event in the city such as parades and the car show. Furthermore, she said, the Chamber is not making any money on the special events.
The North Shore Dragon Boat Festival is “building boats” this year—not the wooden kind, but teams. The festival will be held July 27 – 29, 2012.
If you’ve never powered a dragon boat before and want to know what the excitement is all about, here’s your opportunity! Register as an individual paddler and we’ll put you together with like-minded folks to create a team. Plan on a Friday afternoon practice and at least two races on Saturday, with the possibility of being in the final heat to determine the division champions.
“Paddling for Community” has been our mission since 2004. This year each of our three founding nonprofits is focusing on programs that benefit the area’s young people:
• WTIP’s "Engaging Youth through Radio" project provides local youth with enhanced opportunities for self-exploration, self-expression, and community involvement by providing broadcast training to interested young people. This year’s festival will help fund our summer student intern and youth program producer.
• North Shore Health Care Foundation’s Oral Health Project aims to get Cook County’s children the dental care they need by providing free and financially assisted oral health care through a unique new local partnership among foundations, clinic, schools and dentist.
• North House Folk School serves local youth through school outreach programs that provide hands-on learning opportunities. Funds raised during the festival will be used to improve the classroom resources available for our elementary school outreach programs and our high school timber frame trade tech initiative.
Contact any of the organizations for more information on how to support this great cause.
Minnesota’s ruffed grouse spring drumming counts were lower than last year across most of the bird’s range, according to a survey conducted by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Compared with drumming counts conducted last year, 2012 survey results showed an average decline of 24 to 60 percent in the northeast survey region, which is the core and bulk of grouse range in Minnesota.
Mike Larson, DNR wildlife research group leader and grouse biologist said the grouse population is in the declining phase of its 10-year cycle.
Ruffed grouse populations, which tend to rise and fall on a 10-year cycle, are surveyed by counting the number of male ruffed grouse heard drumming on established routes throughout the state’s forested regions.
Minnesota frequently is the nation’s top ruffed grouse producer. On average, 115,000 hunters harvest 545,000 ruffed grouse in Minnesota each year, also making it the state's most popular game bird.
A long-range ruffed grouse habitat and population management plan is now available on the DNR’s website.
There will be a “Pets for Vets” benefit dinner at the Harbor Light Co. Supper Club on the last Wednesday of each month from now until August from 5 – 8 p.m.
The next event will be Wednesday, June 27.
Pets for Vets is a group of American Legion and First Congregational Church members fundraising for America’s Vet Dogs to provide veterans with special needs dogs. Each special need dog costs up to $20,000.
The benefit dinners will be from 5 - 8 p.m. with live music entertainment donated by local musicians from 5 – 9 p.m. Cheryl Walimaa of Harbor Light said, “ I have been fortunate to start lining up great local musicians to donate their time to provide entertainment during the dinner event.’
The dinner is $10 a plate, and will be a pasta buffet with choice of our homemade alfredo or marinara sauce; choice of chicken, Italian sausage or veggies; salad, breadstick and dessert bar. $4 of every plate will be donated to the Pets for Vets group.
Donation jars will also be set up for those who do not wish to eat, but want to contribute.
At the Tuesday, June 12 county board meeting, commissioners passed a resolution establishing the Lake Superior-Poplar River Water District recently authorized by state statute in a bonding bill. The legislation authorizes a state-funded grant for construction of a pipeline from Lake Superior to Lutsen Mountains that can be used by property owners along that route. The legislation requires appointment of a board of directors representing domestic water users, irrigation water users, and commercial, stock watering, and industrial users.
The county board appointed Cook County – Grarnd Marais Economic Development Authority (EDA) Chair Mark Sandbo and Superior National at Lutsen Manager Bob Fenwick to represent irrigation users such as Superior National at Lutsen golf course; Charles Skinner to represent commercial users (Lutsen Mountains Corporation); and Bob Ryan to represent domestic water users (homeowners and time-share businesses).
Boreal Access is encouraging any individuals or organizations who suffered damages -- including cancelled reservations -- to complete the Disaster Survey Form under Damage Reporting at the following website:
The goal is to create an accurate and complete database of damages to better understand where the needs are and ultimately find resources to help those in need.