Around Cook County
This summer, North House Folk School launches a new wooden boat adoption program specifically designed for local summer residents.
The school is looking for water-loving folks who want to lavish some TLC on a small wooden boat this spring, summer and fall. The reward? Countless placid evenings, halcyon mornings, and the occasional calm afternoon spent rowing around the Grand Marais harbor during the fleeting summer months. Consider this a summer fling; your commitment doesn't extend past the first snowflakes of fall. You'll be left with only sweet harbor memories of your boat, and none of the winter boat blues.
Boat Friends (BFs) agree to do some maintenance on a wooden boat in the spring and fall, and in return, are welcome to use the boat in the harbor throughout the summer (in accordance with water safety practices).
Call 387-9762 for more information, or stop by North House to fill out an application.
Cities and developers that need to control urban stormwater to prevent pollution of lakes and streams have a new tool available: the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has launched a wiki version of the Minnesota Stormwater Manual.
The previous manual – at 850 pages and 25 megabytes online – offered a wealth of information, but was cumbersome to use. Thanks to Clean Water Legacy Act funding and a design team from public agencies and private firms, the manual is now available in a web-based format that can be rapidly updated with new developments.
The newly reformatted manual, which is built with the same software as Wikipedia, allows users to collaborate with each other and quickly locate the most recent stormwater information, offering a powerful tool for those who need to comply with stormwater regulations.
The new wiki manual can be accessed by visiting www.pca.state.mn.us and searching for “Minnesota Stormwater Manual.”
Volunteers can help Department of Natural Resources (DNR) biologists discover the major cause of death of the common loon by collecting dead loon specimens for testing. This statewide study to find answers about loon mortality is being conducted by the DNR’s nongame wildlife program.
“Small studies have been conducted in the past, but they were limited to looking for high mercury concentrations,” said Kevin Woizschke, DNR nongame wildlife specialist and loon watcher coordinator. “This new statewide effort will help answer the big question of what kills our loons. Minnesota’s loon population is about 12,000 birds and the numbers appear stable, but there are still questions about loon mortality.”
The nongame program is asking for help in collecting loons that recently died with no signs of decomposition or obvious predator trauma. Visibly rotten loons should not be collected. To collect a specimen for testing, use disposable gloves to put the dead loon in a plastic bag. To reduce disease risk, try to avoid bare-handed contact when handling dead animals. If gloves are not available, turn a plastic shopping bag inside out and scoop up the specimen with the bag. Place the specimen in a freezer as soon as possible. If a freezer is not available place the specimen in a cooler, surrounded by ice. It is important to deliver the specimen as soon as possible to a local DNR office. All loons need to be labeled with the name of the county, lake, nearest town where it was found, along with person’s name, address and telephone number.
For more information or to locate the nearest DNR officer, call DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or toll-free at 888-646-6367.
The Cook County Historical Society is offering two guided walking tours of Grand Marais harbor through the summer.
The tours were created by Harbor Friends, with funding from Minnesota's Lake Superior Coastal Program, and adapted with permission by the Cook County Historical Society for use in their present programming.
Two tours will be offered - a Lighthouse Point Guided Tour at 11:30 a.m., followed by a West Beach Guided Tour at 1:00 p.m. More information from the Historical Society at 387-2883.
(Click on AM Community Calendar link below to hear an interview with tour guide Molly Hoffman)
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Gitchi-Gami Trail Association held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Silver Bay yesterday to celebrate the official opening of a new, 2.3-mile paved segment of the Gitchi-Gami State Trail on the North Shore of Lake Superior.
From the Rukavina Arena in Silver Bay, the new trail segment runs south across Northshore Mining property and continues to the east end of West Road in Beaver Bay. Continuing south, bicyclists and other trail users can follow the gravel West Road for a half mile to connect with the longest paved section of the trail, the 14.6-mile segment from Beaver Bay to Gooseberry Falls State Park.
More than 28 miles of the trail are complete in six segments. The Lutsen Phase 1 segment, to be completed in 2013, will add another 1.1 paved miles to the trail.
When complete, the trail will extend 86 miles from Two Harbors to Grand Marais.
Twenty-seven community members and school representatives spent Saturday, May 18, 2013 interviewing five candidates out of a field of 16 for the Cook County High School 6th-12th grade principal position that is being reinstated next school year. By Monday, May 20, ISD 166 Superintendent Beth Schwarz announced on the school’s facebook page that Adam Nelson, a social studies teacher at Red Wing High School, had been offered and conditionally accepted the job.
In a special meeting on Thursday, May 30, the board voted to hire Nelson on a one-year probationary contract at a salary of $78,000 plus benefits. His duty year will be 210 days (the equivalent of 42 weeks) with up to 15 paid-time-off days for sickness and/or other approved uses. He will be moving here with his wife and baby girl and will start working full-time in August.