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News and other information from Cook County

New policy for public comments at county board meetings starts this Tuesday

Mon, 07/16/2012 - 12:42pm

Cook County Commissioner Sue Hakes wants members of the public to feel welcome at county board meetings, and she wants to hear what they have to say.  On Tuesday, July 10 the board adopted guidelines for the public comment period, held near the beginning of the meeting, after some discussion of what those guidelines would be.
At a previous meeting Commissioner Hakes had volunteered to draft wording for the guidelines.  She said she used the word “welcome” intentionally.  Her proposal addressed how long a speaker could speak and how long the comment period would last as well as how the board would respond to issues put before them.
The commissioners discussed the wording of the policy, including how much dialogue they wanted to allow between the public and the board during this portion of the meeting.  County Attorney Tim Scannell said the public comment period had been created to give the public opportunity to bring issues to the board that the board could put on its agenda for later discussion.  Lance Johnson of Lutsen suggested that a policy like this could have a “chilling effect” on people wanting to speak to the board.  “I think it runs counter to open and transparent proceedings,” he said.  “I think this is a bad idea and I think you should throw it out the window.”
“Lance, I think you have some good points there,” said Commissioner Fritz Sobanja.  He pointed out that citizens can contact their commissioners to express concerns as well.  “Give them a call to see how they can help you,” he said.  He stated that sometimes people come to county board meetings to make disparaging remarks about the commissioners during the public comment period, and then the newspaper puts it in the paper so they can “sell more papers.”

Change in election line-up

Mon, 07/16/2012 - 11:14am

The Commissioner District 2 race will not to go primary as candidate Kelly Swearingen has withdrawn from the race. Now running in District 2 are incumbent Fritz Sobanja and challenger Garry Gamble. The candidate forum scheduled for Tuesday, July 24 on WTIP radio has been cancelled until the general election in November.
There are still plans for a live candidate forum on WTIP for Commissioner District 4 on Thursday, July 26. Incumbent Jim Johnson has announced that he will not run for re-
election. Running for his seat are Gail Anderson, Rick Austin and 
Heidi Doo-Kirk.

WTIP’s Jay 
Andersen and Rhonda Silence of the Cook County News-Herald will share 
the questioning, with the public invited to call in or e-mail 
questions before or during the broadcast.
Tune in to WTIP at 90.7 Grand Marais; 90.1 Grand Portage; or 91.7 
Gunflint Trail on the night of the forums to hear from the candidates. 
Questions for candidates may be e-mailed in advance of the broadcast 
to the Cook County News-Herald at starnews@boreal.org.

Primary Election Forums on WTIP

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 11:13am

WTIP Community Radio will broadcast two primary election 
candidate forums live from the Grand Marais studios. WTIP’s Jay 
Andersen and Rhonda Silence of the Cook County News-Herald will share 
the questioning, with the public invited to call in or e-mail 
questions before or during the broadcasts on Tuesday, July 24 and 
Thursday, July 26 from 6 – 7 p.m. each night.
The first forum on July 24 will focus on candidates in Commissioner 
District 2. Incumbent Fritz Sobanja is running for re-election. He is 
being challenged by Garry Gamble and Kelly Swearingen.
The second forum is for candidates in Commissioner District 4. 
Incumbent Jim Johnson has announced that he will not run for re-
election. Running for his seat are Gail Anderson, Rick Austin and 
Heidi Doo-Kirk.
Tune in to WTIP at 90.7 Grand Marais; 90.1 Grand Portage; or 91.7 
Gunflint Trail on the night of the forums to hear from the candidates.
Questions for candidates may be e-mailed in advance of the broadcast 
to the Cook County News-Herald at starnews@boreal.org.
 

Weekend News Roundup for July 14

Sat, 07/14/2012 - 8:47am

Each weekend WTIP news produces a round up of the news stories they’ve been following this week.

The DNR announces wolf hunt season details, The AT&T cell tower near Ely is contested, The Duluth Zoo is open, states want the Army Corps to act faster on invasive carp, and the Corps issued a report on Great Lakes fishing.

The Legislature is slated to go into a flood disaster special session soon, Enbridge is faulted for an oil spill and Chip Cravaack picks up a union endorsement…all in this week’s news.

Program: 

Attached file

Join WTIP for the Lake Superior Film Festival and Community Art Display Sunday, July 15th

Fri, 07/13/2012 - 2:19pm

The Lake Superior Film Festival, hosted by WTIP Community Radio, will take place in Grand Marais on Lake Superior Day. The festival will bring people together for a discussion of Lake Superior, perspectives on what’s needed to heal and preserve the lake for generations to come, insight into efforts currently taking place, and a discussion of ideas for efforts to heal and preserve the lake. The festival will include a screening of the film “Grandmothers Gathering for Gitchigaaming,” which features thoughts and perspectives from 13 participants from the Grandmothers Gathering who were asked to speak to the public. This film represents what they shared. Lorraine Norrgard, film director, will lead a discussion and refreshments will be served. There will also be an exhibit of community art and essays that reflect their connection to Lake Superior. Everyone is welcome.

Location: County Historical Society – 8 South Broadway

Date: Sunday, July 15

Time:  3 - 5 p.m.

 

Art and activities at Grand Marais Arts Festival this weekend

Fri, 07/13/2012 - 1:24pm

Once again the streets of Grand Marais come alive during the 22nd annual Grand Marais Arts Festival organized by the Grand Marais Art Colony.  Over 80 local and regional artists set up in downtown Grand Marais with booths of handmade art to showcase their unique handcrafted work. The public is invited to enjoy the cool Lake Superior breeze and to learn more about the artistic process through demonstration and dialogue.
The festival is Saturday, July 14 from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sunday, July 15 from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. with a pre-festival “Meet & Greet Soiree” at Sivertson Gallery with live music by The Sivertones! on Friday, July 13 from 7 – 9 p.m.  
Direct access to the artists during this fine arts festival provides visitors and art lovers an excellent opportunity to meet exhibiting artists while celebrating the long tradition of art on the shore of Lake Superior.
WTIP will be downtown with a live radio broadcast on Saturday, July 14 from 10 a.m. -2 p.m. rain or shine. There will be live music in Harbor Park throughout the weekend by Michael Monroe, Briand Morrison, Bump Blomberg and Paul Metsa.
There are many family friendly activities happening at The Garage as well as at the Art Colony booth. Face painting, portraits and screen-printing your own t-shirt are among the fun activities occurring throughout the weekend.
For a detailed schedule of events, visit www.grandmaraisartcolony.org. For more information, contact the Grand Marais Art Colony at events@grandmaraisartcolony.org or (218) 387-2737.