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Painting Adventures at Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center

Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center Blog - Sat, 08/01/2015 - 2:51pm

Joi Electra is a professional practicing artist from the Grand Marais area. She has been offering Painting Adventures all summer long. On Saturday she has been coming up the Gunflint Trail and stops at various places to paint. Today she and her student were up here at Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center, they choose to paint at my favorite lunch spot.

I had the privilege to meet Pastor Ham Muus who was one of the founders of Wilderness Canoe Base. He bought the land from Eve & Russell Blankenburg in 1954. Cheryl Hedstrom Dailey also stopped in today to drop off some placemats that she made with  photos which she had taken back in 1964 or 65 of Seagull Lake. Cheryl’s family owned End of the Trail Lodge from 1946 to 1965. Cheryl told me a story today about how her and her sister Lee had to do various jobs at the resort. In the wintertime they would put up ice for the guests that would stay at the resort in the summer months.  Not a favorite job for Lee was to go around and deliver the ice to the guests staying with them. Cheryl and her sister Lee have donated various items to be sold in our gift shop at Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center. That is what I love about Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center I get to meet such nice and interesting people every day. Some made the Gunflint Trail their home for so many years and some are just passing through for a quick visit.

Categories: Member Feeds

Highlights of the Season

Gunflint Lodge - Sat, 08/01/2015 - 1:11pm

It is August today – unbelieveable!  The next four weeks are going to fly by if for no other reason than we are full of guests.  Many of them come practically every year.  It is like old home week for them and us.
July was the week we had Robert and Lee with their families visiting us.  In fact I am washing the sheets from Robert and Miranda’s visit as I write this.  As usual, every bed in the house is getting changed.  Miranda is always busy.  As a result many projects I have overlooked are now done.  They were also able to spend time fishing and blueberry picking.  The walleyes and blueberries went home with them.  I am hoping that they will bring back memories of Gunflint each time they eat them.
Lee and Eva spent 10 days with their children reminding us how active young children are.  We did get through almost all their requested activities during the visit. Othe family members haae been here.  Shawn’s daughter Emma is a waitress in the dining room.  Brian’s son Sam is a host with lots of other jobs to fill his time with. Bruce’s sister Pat and her husband, Jim, spent a few days with us.   One of my cousins was here for fishing with his son and grandson.  It was good to see them.  Seeing family during the summer is a great Minnesota tradition.  Walleyes and blueberries are also traditions.
During July and August, one of the most popular spots around the lodge is the patio overlooking the dock and swimming area.  Any warm day or evening will find it busy with guests from breakfast until dark.  Eating or just sitting outside can only happen a few months out of the year in northern Minnesota so the patio is a real treat.  That is what Lee and Eva thought when they put it in.  Everyone enjoys just watching the activity around a dock area.  Parents enjoy comfortable chairs to watch their children play at the beach.  No one really does much.  They just sit and look around.  Ducks, seagulls and eagles also add a bit of activity to keep your attention.
August, of course, brings summer to a close for us.  With the coming of Labor Day, we will see an end to children.  They will all be back in school.  It is amazing how far reaching this change of guests is.  The dining room will see much smaller parties.  The volume of cookies and hot chocolate will significantly go down.  Most high chairs will be put in the back room.  The ducks will gradually take back the beach area but corn will not be given to the ducks quite a liberally without children around.
One of the things that Bruce and I enjoy the most about our guests at the resort is how they change.  Summer is families.  Fall is for adults especially those who love to hike.  Even the late fall of October and November brings people who like their special charms – the first snow fall, walking through noisy leaves, crisp mornings.  By December and through March our guests are thinking more about the winter activities – cross country skiing, snowshoeing, dog sledding, short days, cabins with fireplaces, etc.  Then in April some melting is evident.  The ice is black and we count the days until open water.  May’s open water brings fishing.  Days that seemed wonderfully warm at 35 degrees in March are frigid in May.  When summer comes, our guest cycle starts all over again.
Categories: Member Feeds

Shoeless and Canoe Less in the Quetico

Boundary Waters Blog - Fri, 07/31/2015 - 8:09pm

A portion of the Quetico Provincial Park in Ontario is closed because there is a man out there without shoes and without a canoe. Authorities aren’t giving us much information but they are looking for him and they want to be the ones who find him, hence the reason for closing an area near Ely, Minnesota.

He is a 26-year old named Aaron King and they are calling him an “Extreme Survivalist.” He had been spending time in Ely, Minnesota.  Here’s an article with more information about the story.

FROM/DE:  Rainy River District Detachment              DATE:  July 29, 2015


(FORT FRANCES, ON) – On July 24, 2015 members of the Rainy River District Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) received a call from a member of the public concerned for the wellbeing of a male he encountered in the Brent Lake area of Quetico Provincial Park.

Police have identified the male as Aaron Nathaniel KING of no fixed address. King was last seen on July 27, 2015 in the Brent Lake area.

KING is described as Caucasian, 26 years old, 5’10”, 160 lbs;
He has light brown hair and a scruffy beard;
He is believed to be wearing a green long sleeve shirt, olive colored pants and shoes.

OPP Rainy River District District Detachment request that any member of the public with information concerning Aaron KING or his whereabouts is urged to contact the Provincial Communication Centre at 1-807-683-42001-807-683-4200 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

Contact: Constable Guy Beaudry
Telephone-807 274-7777

By the authority of Section 8  (1)  (c) of Ontario Regulation 347/07 made under
the  Provincial  Parks  and  Conservation  Reserves  Act,  2006,  the  lakes  listed
below are closed to the public.
  Brent Lake
  Darkwater Lake (also known as Darky Lake)
  Darkwater River between Brent and Darkwater Lakes
  William Lake
  Conmee Lake
  Suzannette Lake
  McIntyre Lake
  Scarlett Lake
  Cone Lake
  Un-named lakes south of Brent Lake en route to McIntyre Lake
Travel on these lakes and camping/occupying land on the shores of these lakes
is prohibited.
A person of concern has been spotted in the areas of Brent Lake and Crooked
Lake  in  Quetico  Provincial  Park.   This  person  is  male,  Caucasian,  with
scraggly red-blonde hair and a beard.   He may not be wearing shoes and is
believed to not have a canoe.   If visitors see a man matching this description,
please stay clear and do not engage him.   Visitors should note the time and
location of their sighting and report it to the Ontario Provincial Police at 1 -807-683-4200 and to a Park Staff Member.


Categories: Member Feeds

All aboard at Taconite Harbor

Unorganized Territory - Thu, 07/30/2015 - 3:32pm

Last week I wrote about the looming closure of the Taconite Harbor Energy Center in Schroeder. I’m still sadly waiting to hear how the impending idling of the plant will affect the many people I know at the plant.

I am trying to be hopeful that Minnesota Power will find a way to “re-purpose” the plant. Minnesota Power Vice President of Strategy and Planning Al Rudeck told News-Herald reporter Brian Larsen that the company has a “Community Investment Committee” that will work to re-purpose the plant.

Rudeck talked about possibilities such as converting the plant to a wood products center. Minnesota Power is investing in wind, solar and natural gas—perhaps there is a way to make something like that work in Schroeder. I’m skeptical, but again, hopeful.

It is good to hear the Minnesota Power executives talking about the other “valuable assets” in Schroeder, including the port and the rail line*. In fact, the rail line gives me a little glimmer of hope. Not through the transport of taconite pellets however. That is unlikely. But how about converting the long-idle rail line to a scenic railway?

It wouldn’t offer 40-plus jobs as the Energy Center does, but if it only added a few jobs to our struggling economy, it could help. And, as our economy becomes more and more tourism-based, this could be a draw, an incentive as the tourism groups keep saying, “to stay another day.”

People love trains. Our family has taken several scenic railway trips in our travels, such as the Cripple Creek Narrow Gauge train in Colorado. It was only four miles long and it was exceedingly slow, but the tour guide was entertaining and it brought the history of the old west to life.

We have a model we could emulate in Duluth’s North Shore Scenic Railroad. I don’t know if the North Shore Scenic Railroad is a break-even or moneymaking operation, but it sure is a tourism draw. Duluth and The Depot have done an admirable job marketing the railway, with pizza trains, a Murder Mystery Train and for the kids, a Day with Thomas tour and the Polar Express.

A train ride from Taconite Harbor to Hoyt Lakes would not need as much hype because the scenery alone would sell the trip. There are a few folks still in our community who have taken that ride who could bear witness to the great views.

I know that at some point along the route there is a really cool tunnel. It’s one of my earliest hiking memories. For some reason a large group of us, my parents, sister, cousins, aunts and uncles drove to the railroad tracks and went for a hike atop the grade. We came to the tunnel and there was debate as to whether or not we should hike through it.

My uncle Clayton, who worked at the plant—then North Shore Mining—said we should go for it, but cautioned us children that if a train came, we should lie down and press up against the wall as tightly as we could so we wouldn’t get sucked under the churning iron wheels.

Now, looking back from my adult vantage point, I am sure that Clayton knew the train schedule and knew there was not the slightest danger that a train would be passing through as we hiked. I’m sure he chuckled at our sheer terror as we got further and further into the tunnel and the thought of a train coming made us go faster and faster. I will never forget how scared my cousins and I were. We wanted to climb over the mountain to get back to the car!

But I will also never forget how lovely the scenery was at both the entrance and exit of the tunnel. The view of Lake Superior was exquisite.

In addition to offering magnificent scenery, the scenic railroad could provide a history of the trains that stopped operation in 2001, the mining industry, and the power plant and of the towns and hardworking people that built it all. I’d take a ride—how about you?


The United States, as we know it today is largely the result of mechanical inventions, and in particular of agricultural machinery and the railroad.

John Moody

 * To see a fantastic video of the last Cliffs Erie train leaving Taconite Harbor and going through that tunnel, click here.
Categories: Member Feeds

7/30/15 - Crew Excursions

Sawbill Newsletter - Thu, 07/30/2015 - 11:24am

7/30/15 - Working at Sawbill provides myriad opportunities for adventures. Crew members definitely take advantage of living in such a beautiful place by exploring their summer home in different ways.

One popular way to use time off is to go on trips - it seems that despite being around together almost every minute of every day, we still like each other enough to want to spend time together in the wilderness.

Three crew members, who have christened themselves the Basement Babes due to their living arrangement, recently went on a three day trip and came back with many pictures to show and stories to tell.

The Basement Babes (L to R: Claire, Olive, Elena) before the start of their adventure.

The three women put in at Kawishiwi Lake and headed up through the burn area to Malberg where they camped for their first night. The next day they traveled along the Louse River, honing their map-reading skills, and made camp on Dent Lake. The next day, they enjoyed a floating lunch on Mesaba lake and then made their way back home through Kelso and Alton.

Sawbill crew members know how to pack light!

Some of the wildlife spotted during the trip

Another fun crew excursion is making the drive to Tofte to watch the sun rise over Lake Superior. Because the sun comes up so early these days, crew members have to get an even earlier start - leaving before 5 am!

Olive by the water

On Wednesday morning, four crew members woke up at 4:30, packed a picnic breakfast (coffee being the main course) and headed down the Sawbill trail.

Sunrise just beginning to peek over the hills.

The waves were crashing hard even before 6 am, forecasting a windy day ahead.

The spectacular view made the early wake-up worth it!

A selfie to celebrate a successful Superior sunrise! (Crew members L to R: Ana, Emma, Elena, and Olive)

What fun we have together! - Elena

Categories: Member Feeds

Forests are Great

Boundary Waters Blog - Thu, 07/30/2015 - 6:14am

Call me a tree hugger if you like but I love trees, the more the better. Lots of trees that make up a forest provide places for wildlife to live and tree huggers to play. I always knew forests were great and now I have another reason to love them.
DNR Question of the week

Q: How do forests contribute to clean water?

A: Forests are natural water filters. Rain clings to the leaves and bark of trees, slowing the movement of rain to the ground. The slower moving rain picks up less sediment when it hits the soil. Additionally, forest soils contain large pore spaces that trap sediments and pollutants. As a result, rainwater that leaves a forest to recharge groundwater or flow into lakes and rivers is clean.

Keeping managed forests on the landscape is one of the best ways to protect drinking water and can reduce the cost of water treatment by up to 65 percent when compared to paved or barren land. For more information, visit:

Jennifer Corcoran, DNR forestry research analysis specialist

Categories: Member Feeds

The Fullness of Summer & Fish Pic

North Shore Arts Scene - Thu, 07/30/2015 - 2:28am

Mary Amerman took this wonderful photograph of summer in full bloom. “May you find beauty in your day,” she posted.

It’s the height of summer and with it comes Grand Marais’ annual homecoming celebration– Fisherman’s Picnic.

An iconic shot of Fisherman’s Picnic: Michael Monroe performs in Harbor Park as the Hjordis sails by. Musical entertainment continues through the entire event.

The 5-day event, sponsored by the Grand Marais Lions, features lots of live music, contests, tournaments, kids’ activities and a fair amount of fishy stuff, including Buck’s Big Fish Contest, fishburgers, minnow races and a pickled herring eating contest. There are lots of Northwoods events as well, including log-rolling, cross-cut saw competitions, blacksmithing demonstrations and loon calling, as well as favorites like the Kids’ Tractor Pull,  the Cutest Puppy Contest and the Fisherman’s Picnic Trail Run on Pincushion Mountain, to name a few.

New this year is a rock-painting contest following the theme “The Coolest Small Town in America.”

The Library Friends holds its annual Used Book Sale at the Cook County Community Center, too.  The members-only sale is Thursday from 5-7 p.m., (memberships can be purchased at the door) and the general public can shop from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

The Fisherman’s Picnic Parade starts at 1 p.m. Sunday.

There are street dances on Thursday and Friday nights,  fireworks at dusk on Saturday night and the best parade of the year starts at 1 p.m. Sunday. For the complete schedule of events, click here.

The Grand Marais Playhouse Summer Theater Festival continues this week as well, with performances of the comedy “Moon Over Buffalo” at 7 p.m. Thursday and Saturday at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts. The musical “I Love You. You’re Perfect. Now Change.” will be performed at 7 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are available at the door.

The Arrowhead Regional Arts Council is hosting an informational meeting  Aug. 6 about the Creativity Among Native American Artists Initiative. The initiative aims to increase the visibility of native artists in the Minnesota, Wisconsin and North and South Dakota. The meeting is open to Native American artists from the Arrowhead Region and is free.  ARAC will reimburse mileage for anyone traveling more than 50 miles one way.
The meeting will take place at the Gimaajii American Indian Center, 202 West 2nd St., Duluth on Thursday, Aug. 6 from 5- 7 p.m. For more information, contact ARAC at 218-722-0952 or 800-569-8134, or e-mail


  • Rendezvous Days & Traditional Gathering Pow-Wow, Aug. 7-9
  • Tim Pearson will exhibit at Tettegouche State Park next month. His work is shown at Sivertson Gallery.

    Tim Pearson opens an exhibit at Tettegouche State Park, Aug. 7 at 7 p.m.

  • Writer’s Salon with Shannon Drury, Drury Lane Books, Aug. 8, 5 p.m.
  • Gunflint  Woods, Winds & Strings, Mid-Trail Fire Hall, Aug. 9 at 4 p.m. For tickets, email

There are great art exhibits in the county this week, too.

Vine” by Hazel Belvo. Photo by Philis Anderson.

The Belvo/Cushmore exhibit opened at the Johnson Heritage Post Gallery last week featuring fascinating and wonderful new work by painters Hazel Belvo and Marcia Cushmore. Belvo, for example, is exhibiting two new series of paintings: All That Jazz and Zinfandel Vines. Cushmore is exhibiting exquisite abstract prints for the first time, as well as other work. The exhibit continues through Aug. 9. The Heritage Post is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sunday and Monday.

“Love of the Northshore” by Charlotte Durie.

The Cross River Heritage Center in Schroeder is exhibiting artworks in a group show featuring work by Charlotte Durie, Sandi Pillsbury-Gredzens, David Hahn, Leona Czaplicki, Rose Vastila and Kim Knutson
. The Heritage Center is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sunday.

Detail of a stoneware bowl by Robert Briscoe.

This is the final weekend of an exhibit of pottery by Robert Briscoe and Jason Trebs at the Grand Marais Art Colony. The work is displayed in the gift shop, which also features a wide variety of work by Art Colony member artists as well as participants in the Grand Marais Arts Festival earlier this month. Printmaker Mary Bruno will be the featured artist in August.

Also at the Art Colony this weekend, printmaker Jerry Riach will give a printmaking demo at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Cuffs by Stephan Hoglund.

Betsy Bowen Studio and Galleries is featuring new cuff bracelets in copper and gold over silver  by Stephan Hoglund.
The artist also has a selection of copper rings.  At Ron’s World Rocks, located above Bowen’s studio, one can find unique pins of sterling and stone featuring amethyist, prehnite and green apatite. Melissa Wickwire (Wickwire Clay Works)  has a selection of  individually framed or unframed wall tiles as well as stylish clay buttons. The studio and galleries at 301 1st Ave. W. are open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Glass bowl by Tony Scorza.

Kah-Nee-Tah Gallery in Lutsen has a new glass collection by glass artist Tony Scorza, who is now setting up his new studio in Duluth.The gallery also has fiber art by Kim Knutson and Linda Bauer as well as Native American gourd art by Susan Zimmerman.

The Blue Moose is featuring local artists Jeri Persons’ colorful brooches, Nancy Haarmeyer’s Knotty Necklaces and Kathy Hellner’s rock necklaces and earrings crafted with basalt and thomsonite.

“Cool Garden Darner” by Anna Hess.

Anna Hess has brought in new paintings to Last Chance Gallery in Lutsen.

Joan Beard will be giving beading demonstrations during Fisherman’s Picnic at Joy & Co., and Jill Terrill will be in her Maker’s Space with hands-on crafts for kids.

And here’s an interesting project. The Cook County Historical Society is holding a silent auction for four photograph prints on aluminum created by local photographers Travis Novitsky and David Johnson. Bids may be placed at the Johnson Heritage Post until 10 a.m. Aug. 3. You do not have to be present to win. All proceeds will go toward the restoration of the Chippewa City Church. Here are the photos:

Photo by Travis Novitsky.

Photo by Travis Novitsky.







Photo by David Johnson.

Photo by David Johnson.






To make a bid, call the Heritage Post at 218-387-2314.

In Thunder Bay, the Definitely Superior Art Gallery is closed through Sept. 19, when it will re-open for a gala opening reception of an exhibit by ceramicist Sarah Link. Stay tuned for details.

The Black Pirates Pub, 215 Red River Road in Thunder Bay, presents Midsummer Night’s Dream, a three-day showcase of underground electronic music with light show and projections by Illuminate. The showcase starts on Friday night.

And on Sunday, the Baggage Arts Center will hold a Meet the Artist event with painter Glenn  Morrison from 1-3 p.m. (EDT)

There’s an incredible amount of music this weekend, both in Harbor Park and at local venues. Eric Frost, who is playing at the Voyageur Brewing Co. this weekend, will talk about his music and play a few songs on WTIP’s The Roadhouse Friday night. The Roadhouse airs from 5-7 p.m.

Here’s the music schedule for Fish Pic weekend:

Thursday, July 30:

  • Briand Morrison with Roxann Berglund, Harbor Park, 11 a.m
  • Joe Paulik, Harbor Park, 1 p.m.
  • Cook County’s Most Wanted, Harbor Park, 3 p.m.
  • Joe Paulik, Music by the Campfire, Lutsen Resort, 6 p.m.
  • Step Rockets, Gun Flint Tavern, 6:30 p.m.
  • Street Dance with The Roadhouse, 7 p.m., Harbor Park

Friday, July 31:

  • Joe Paulik, Harbor Park, 11 a.m.
  • Michael Monroe, Harbor Park, 1 p.m.
  • The SplinterTones, Sydney’s Rooftop, 1 p.m.
  • Angel Hair Rasta, Harbor Park, 3 p.m.
  • Briand Morrison, Voyageur Rooftop, 2 p.m.
  • The Ladies Music Club, Hungry Jack Lodge, 6 p.m.
  • Shoot from the Hipsters, Sydney’s Rooftop, 6:30 p.m.
  • Street Dance with the Step Rockets, 7 p.m.
  • Eric Frost, Music by the Campfire, Eagle Ridge Resort, 7 p.m.
  • Joe Paulik, Cascade Lodge Pub, 7:30 p.m.
  • Cook County’s Most Wanted, American Legion, 8 p.m.
  • Jim & Michele Miller, Voyageur Brewing Co., 8 p.m.
  • Black River Revue, Gun Flint Tavern, 8:30 p.m.
  • Pushing Chain, Bluefin Grille, 9 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 1:

  • Dirigible Down, Harbor Park, 11 a.m.
  • Michael Monroe, Harbor Park, 1 p.m.
  • Portage, Harbor Park, 3 p.m.
  • Cook County’s Most Wanted, Birch Terrace Lakeview Patio, 3 p.m.
  • Eric Frost & Friends, Voyageur Brewing Co., 3 p.m.
  • Joe Paulik, Music on the Deck at Papa Charlie’s, 6 p.m.
  • The SplinterTones, Street Dance, Harbor Park, 7 p.m.
  • The Ladies Music Club, Gunflint Lodge, 7 p.m.
  • Briand Morrison, Lutsen Resort, 7 p.m.
  • Pushing Chain, Lutsen Resort, 7 p.m.
  • Pete Kavanaugh, Cascade Lodge Pub, 7 p.m.
  • Black River Revue, Gun Flint Tavern, 9 p.m.
  • Eric Frost, Voyageur Brewing Co., 9 p.m.
  • Timmy Haus, Papa Charlie’s, 9:30 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 2

  • Yvonne Caruthers,  Bach with Breakfast, Sydney’s, 7:30 a.m.
  • Pete Kavanaugh, Harbor Park, noon
  • Shriner’s Band, Harbor Park, 2 p.m.
  • Chris Gillis & Gordon Thorne, Gunflint Tavern, 2 p.m.
  • Timmy Haus Band, Caribou Highlands Lodge, 5 p.m.
  • Yvonne Caruthers, Gunflint Lodge Dinner Music, 6:30 p.m.
  • Bughouse, Gun Flint Tavern, 7 p.m.

Monday, Aug. 3

  • Moors & McCumber, Monday Night Songwriter Series, Papa Charlie’s, 8:30 p.m.
  • Bill & Kate Isles, Bluefin Grille, 9 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 5:

  • Gordon Thorne & Bob Bingham, Bluefin Grille, 9 p.m.

Our local and regional photographers came up with some beautiful work this week. Here are some examples:

Layne Kennedy led a photo workshop at North House Folk School recently, and took some photos himself. Here are a few wonderful examples.

Philis Anderson’s Fjord Horses by Layne Kennedy.


Former North House Folk School intern Emily Derke takes a Norwegian pram out for a row in the Grand Marais Harbor Saturday night. Photo by Layne Kennedy.


Calm waters in the harbor by Layne Kennedy.


There were northern lights this week, too.

Northern Lights July 23 by Nace Hagemann.


Lake of the Woods Aurora by Jakub Sisak.


Paul Sundberg made some incredible photos this week. Here are two of a series he took of a recent sunrise.

At first, it looked like this:

Photo by Paul Sundberg.


And then …

Photo by Paul Sundberg.


And here’s a photo of a Grand Marais icon– the Hjordis, which sails out of North House Folk School daily.

 This photo is by Dena. (No last name given.)


A summer wind storm.

Photo by Kjersti Vick. “A Splashy Day Out There.”


Sunrise in the Apostle Islands.

“The Wizard’s Eye,” photo by Mike DeWitt of sea stacks off Stockton Island.


And last, but not least, this beauty by Christian Dalbec.

Kayaking near Palisade Head by Christian Dalbec.






Have a great weekend, everyone!



Categories: Member Feeds

After 75 Years, Historic Lodge Gets a High-tech Roof

Clearwater Lodge Tales - Wed, 07/29/2015 - 4:41pm

Carl Clark is owner and president of Clark’s Quality Roofing, a commercial and industrial roofing company serving 11 western states, located in Murray, Utah. Together with his wife Laura Clark, they are the owners and stewards of Clearwater Historic Lodge & Canoe Outfitters.  * * * * * * * * * * * * * I am a huge fan of Charlie Boostrom. Being in the commercial construction business...

The post After 75 Years, Historic Lodge Gets a High-tech Roof appeared first on Clearwater Historic Lodge & Canoe Outfitters.

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Twice is a Blue Moon

Boundary Waters Blog - Wed, 07/29/2015 - 6:49am

It would be really neat to see a blue moon that is actually the color blue. According to SpaceWeather there is a chance we might just see one this month. Our first full moon of the month of July was on July 2nd and our second or blue moon will be on July 31st. A blue moon is just the second full moon of a specific month. However, sometimes due to ash from volcanoes or wildfires(like we’re experiencing in the western United States) the moon appears blue because the ash filters out the other colors.  You can read all about it below and if you want a front row seat to moon and star viewing then come on up to the Gunflint Trail where lack of artificial light makes it one of the best places for stargazing.


WILL THE MOON REALLY TURN BLUE? When someone says “Once in a Blue Moon,” you know what they mean: rare, seldom, even absurd. This year it means “the end of July.” For the second time this month, the Moon is about to become full.  There was one full Moon on July 2nd, and now another is coming on July 31st.  According to modern folklore, the second full Moon in a calendar month is “blue.” Strange but true: Sometimes the Moon really turns blue. Scroll past the waxing full Moon, photographed on July 25th by Giuseppe Petricca of Pisa, Italy, for more information:

The blue areas in the color-enhanced image (right) are caused by titanium in lunar soil. [more]

A truly-blue Moon usually requires a volcanic eruption. Back in 1883, for example, people saw blue moons almost every night after the Indonesian volcano Krakatoa exploded with the force of a 100-megaton nuclear bomb. Plumes of ash rose to the very top of Earth’s atmosphere, and the Moon became an azure-colored disk.

Krakatoa’s ash was the reason. Some of the plumes were filled with particles 1 micron wide, about the same as the wavelength of red light.  Particles of this special size strongly scatter red light, while allowing blue light to pass through. Krakatoa’s clouds thus acted like a blue filter. People also saw blue-colored Moons in 1983 after the eruption of the El Chichon volcano in Mexico. And there are reports of blue Moons caused by Mt. St. Helens in 1980 and Mount Pinatubo in 1991.

Forest fires can do the same trick.  A famous example is the giant muskeg fire of Sept. 1953 in Alberta, Canada.  Clouds of smoke containing micron-sized oil droplets produced lavender suns and blue Moons all the way from North America to England.  At this time of year, summer wildfires often produce smoke with an abundance of micron-sized particles–just the right size to turn the Moon truly blue. Sky watchers in western parts of the USA and Canada, where wildfires are in progress, could experience this phenomenon.

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The 2015 Tuscarora Staff

Tuscarora Lodge and Outfitters News - Tue, 07/28/2015 - 10:51am

We’re at that rare point in the summer; that point where all staff members for the season are here at Tuscarora.

In early May, the staff members started trickling in and now, with the arrival of our last housekeeper, Kenzie, in mid-July, all 11 staff members are finally together . . . at least for now. But in just a few days, the staff members will begin dispersing, heading back home to spend some time with family and friends before returning to college or their next adventure.

We knew it was now or never for getting the 2015 staff photo, so on Sunday afternoon, right after lunch, we trooped everyone out onto the outfitting office steps to sit in the midday sun on one of the hottest days in the last five years to smile pretty for the camera for a couple minutes.

2015 Tuscarora Staff
Front row (L-R): Sean, Liz, Dan, and Mack the Dog
2nd row (L-R): Jack, Kamille, Kenzie, and Mitch
3rd row (L-R): Frank, Shelby, Carter, and Emma
4th row (L-R): Ada and Andy

Special thanks to Andy Ahrendt for serving as this year’s staff photographer; we just wish he and Sue had hopped in the photo too.

We’re thankful for a lot of things this summer, but at the tippy top of the “things to be thankful” list is this year’s staff. Our hats go off to Andy and Sue for hiring such a smart, committed, and lovably goofy crew. We’ve so appreciated their willingness to tackle even the least glamorous of jobs and to step up when necessary to keep everything going swimmingly.

We hope if you’ve been up this summer that you’ve enjoyed their company as well. Maybe you had French toast served and/or prepared by Carter, Emma, Kamille, or Kenzie. Or you’ve been outfitted with paddles, lifejackets, and transported to your entry point by Dan, Frank, Jack, Mitch, or Sean. If you got camp food with us, your food pack was probably filled with smiley faces, compliments of Liz, the food packer. Behind the scenes, Shelby has kept the whole crew fed and happy in her role as crew cook/cheerleader.

It’s hard to imagine life at Tuscarora with this crew, but if we’re lucky, hopefully at least a few of them will return for a second season next year.

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A Year in the Boundary Waters

Boundary Waters Blog - Tue, 07/28/2015 - 6:10am

A night in the Boundary Waters is too much for some people. A 7-day summer canoe trip feels like an eternity to most kids. Most people never even think about winter camping yet two Minnesota adventurers are going to spend an entire year in the BWCA.

Amy and Dave Freeman of Wilderness Classroom Organization are embarking on their trip this September. They plan to paddle during the liquid months and use sled dogs during the frozen months to travel over 3000 miles.

Why are they doing this? “To promote preserving the area from the effects of sulfide-ore copper mining.”

This isn’t their first expedition and I’m sure it won’t be there last. They were named National Geographic Explorers of the year in 2014 for their North American Odyssey. They have kayaked around Lake Superior and biked and paddled their way across South America as well.  For that trip Amy took along one of my pink canoe paddles.

We first met Amy when she worked at a Gunflint Trail canoe outfitter years ago. She and her husband split their time between Ely and Grand Marais when they aren’t out on an adventure.  We wish them the best on their newest pursuit.


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It’s Hot for Here

Boundary Waters Blog - Mon, 07/27/2015 - 11:09am

Some people say it isn’t that hot here because it isn’t that humid. Others say it’s much hotter where they are from. I say, “It’s hot for here.”

People who live near the biggest air conditioner(Lake Superior) don’t feel “hot” very often. A nice day in Grand Marais, Minnesota is when the sun is shining and it’s 60 degrees. At the end of the Gunflint Trail it can get hot but we usually don’t have a prolonged heat wave. And up here, a heat wave is happening now.

We had over 80 degree temperatures on seven of the past ten days. Yesterday the temperature soared up to 92 degrees. I have a bad memory but I can’t remember the last time we had temperatures this hot for this long.

It is supposed to be in the 90′s again today. Thank goodness I have a river to cool off in throughout the day because I can’t handle the heat.

We’re hoping for some rain tomorrow to cool things off and give the blueberries a drink. The forecast calls for more “hot” weather throughout the weekend.

And while temperatures may not feel hot to you, they certainly do to this Gunflint gal.

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7/27/15 - Christmas in July

Sawbill Newsletter - Mon, 07/27/2015 - 10:13am

7/27/15 - Christmas comes but once a year... except at Sawbill!

Each summer, in either June or July, Sawbill crew members don Santa hats, crank up holiday tunes an spend hours baking and decorating cookies for our second Christmas. On the 24th, a festive dinner is held after everyone is off work, and we exchange presents and listen to a mixed CD put together by the crew members.

This amazing Christmas tree cookie was made by Kevin, and was later devoured by some Boy Scouts.

Crew members pose with their gifts

Olive received a jar of olives, and a kiwi likeness of herself, a nod to her semester spent in New Zealand.

Cindy Lou reacts to opening her present

Even Uno got dressed up for the occasion - Logan asked him to bring good fishing.

Festivities lasted long into the night, and leftovers are still being enjoyed. Happy Holidays, however you celebrate them! - Elena

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The Things You See Near Voyageur

Boundary Waters Blog - Sun, 07/26/2015 - 9:39am

Visitors of Voyageur Canoe Outfitters are able to take advantage of our awesome location on the very edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Every day something amazing and awe inspiring happens and if you’re lucky and looking then you get to see it.

Last week one of our tow boat drivers was coming back to our dock and he saw a mother moose and her calf swimming across the river. He used his radio to tell us about it and others were able to go out onto the dock and enjoy it.

Anna and Joe were out fishing on Gull Lake Friday afternoon. A loon was swimming with her newborn chick on her back when suddenly an eagle swooped in and stole her chick.  Feathers flew, loons cried and within seconds the chick and eagle were gone.

Josh and I took a quick fishing break yesterday. We heard a noise in the woods and pretty soon a small black bear came out to the water’s edge. It ripped apart a log, sat in the water and when it finally noticed us retreated back into the woods.

We caught some smallmouth bass and as Josh was reeling in a small one a northern pike attacked it. The little bass got away but we netted the 30″ northern pike and then released it.

Yes, there are cool things happening near Voyageur all of the time. We invite you to come see for yourself.



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Picking Berries on the Gunflint Trail

Boundary Waters Blog - Sat, 07/25/2015 - 10:02am

People are out and about on the Gunflint Trail. There are vehicles parked along side of the road at some of the well-known blueberry picking spots. We’ve seen people with bug nets and ice cream buckets crouched down in the weeds. Are the blueberries ready?

In my expert opinion, maybe. If they are ready to be picked then this year won’t be one of the better years for picking. I think the pickers have jumped the gun because I’m seeing more green berries than blue ones and that equals difficult/time consuming picking. I much prefer picking when all of the berries are ripe and ready to be picked.

Maybe this is the only time those blueberry pickers have to pick. It is better than nothing and if you don’t mind moving, squatting, reaching, standing, moving, squatting, reaching, standing and finding small or green berries in your bucket then the berry picking is fine.

I would like to say, “You won’t find me out picking yet.” but that would be a lie. I have been out looking for berries and I have picked some too. But I have spent more time driving and wandering around than I have actually picking but that’s ok too. With the hot weather in the forecast I urge everyone to bring along plenty of water, take time to get out of the sun and don’t wander too far from the road.

Oh, and by the way, the raspberries are ripe and ready to be picked!

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A Long BWCA Canoe Trip

Boundary Waters Blog - Fri, 07/24/2015 - 6:07am

We had the pleasure of meeting two adventurers at Voyageur Canoe Outfitters on Tuesday. Nick Canney and paddling partner Mujo Catic started their canoe trip on May 1st at the Stuart River Portage. They plan to camp and canoe in the BWCA until mid-October.

They will have spent over five months canoeing by the time they are finished with their trip. What an excellent adventure. So far they have paddled 150 miles and they haven’t seen a moose yet. They have caught fish and on the opener they caught a 22″ northern pike.  As they were reeling it in a larger(around 11 pounds) northern pike grabbed it. They were able to get both fish into the canoe and were quite excited about it.

Nick Canney and Mujo Catic love the outdoors and they hope their trip sparks the interest of other young people so they too will venture into the Boundary Waters.  We hope they inspire others to paddle the BWCA and continue to have a wonderful journey.

Nick Canney and Mujo Caticimage on their way from Saganaga to Seagull Lake



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Charlie’s Unending Energy, Summer and Winter Alike

Clearwater Lodge Tales - Thu, 07/23/2015 - 5:17pm

In 1915, Charlie & Petra Boostrom founded Clearwater Historic Lodge & Canoe Outfitters. This year we celebrate our centennial — 100 years of helping guests explore the beauty and tranquility of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. In honor of our founders and their legacy, we’ve been sharing stories about the Boostrom’s and the early days of Clearwater Historic Lodge and the Gunflint Trail. Many of the stories — including the...

The post Charlie’s Unending Energy, Summer and Winter Alike appeared first on Clearwater Historic Lodge & Canoe Outfitters.

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Boundary Waters Canoe Trip Video

Boundary Waters Blog - Thu, 07/23/2015 - 6:59am

A guest of ours put together a nice video of his group in the Boundary Waters. I love to see people’s videos and photos of their time spent in the canoe country wilderness. I also love to share these items with my blog readers so if you have some to share then please email them to me, I’d appreciate it.

There are a few cuss words in the middle of the video but I still give it a  5 star rating. Thanks for sharing Len! Video Courtesy of Len Brewer of Killshots, a company that specializes in creating graphics for hunting and fishing websites.

Boundary Waters Canoe Trip from Dreamprints on Vimeo.

Canoe Fishing trip into the BWCA on June 3, 2015.

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Belvo & Cushmore, a Troubadour & Lively Theater

North Shore Arts Scene - Thu, 07/23/2015 - 2:34am

Nace Hagemann caught this great moment between a mama and her calf the other day. The photographer will be at Kah-Nee-Tah Gallery on Saturday to talk about his quest for moose and northern lights.


There are lots of things to do this weekend and, if you’re judicious with your timing, you just might be able to see it all. (Keep your time-travel suit at the ready, however, just in case.)

First up is “Kalileh,” a magical production by an Iranian composer and pianist who has written a piece especially for the Magic Smelt Puppet Troupe of Duluth and the Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra. The Lake Superior Youth Chorus will also perform.

Hooshyar Khayam, who lives in Iran and was commissioned to compose the work, will attend the performances at the Marshall Performing Arts Center at UMD on Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Puppeteer Jim Ouray, who works with the Good Harbor Hill Players in Grand Marais for the winter and summer solstice pageants, is the artistic director of the Magic Smelt Puppet Troupe. To hear a snippet of the music and learn more about this remarkable collaboration, click here.

All That Jazz by Hazel Belvo.

And on Friday, there’s more magic to see when Hazel Belvo and Marsha Cushmore open an exhibit at the Johnson Heritage Post with new work and a new focus.

The opening reception is from 5-7 p.m.

Belvo will be showing a new series of paintings,  and Cushmore will have a number of prints based on her abstract studies of tree bark.

“Old Norway” by Marcia Cushmore.

Both artists will also have other work on exhibit, including three Sky/Water paintings by Cushmore, and Belvo’s paintings of the Zinfandel vines in Sonoma, Calif.

Immediately following the reception, wander over to Harbor Park where “troubadour” Ben Weaver will be in performance at 7 p.m.

Ben Weaver’s “Surrounding Water” performance will be at Harbor Park at 7 p.m. Friday.

Weaver is completing a 16-day circumnavigation of Lake Superior on his bicycle and is stopping in communities along the way to share poetry, music and stories to unify people who live on the shores of the Big Lake. The event is sponsored by Superior North Outdoor Center and the Grand Marais Music Collaborative. Everyone is invited. Weaver will stop in at WTIP’s The Roadhouse around 5:20 p.m. to talk about his project.

Meanwhile, up the hill aways, the Grand Marais Playhouse Summer Theater Festival continues at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts with the comedy “Moon Over Buffalo” and the musical “I Love You. You’re Perfect. Now Change” in repertory through Aug. 2. “Moon Over Buffalo” will be performed at 7 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Sunday, “I Love You” at 7 p.m. Saturday. The reviews of both shows have been excellent. Tickets are available at the door.

On Friday and Saturday, there will be outdoor demonstrations at the Bally Blacksmith Shop from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. All are invited to come watch and share stories.

On Saturday, the Cook County Farm & Craft Market will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Senior Center parking lot. Hovland strawberries, early vegetables, flowers and plants will be featured as well as a variety of arts and crafts made by Cook County residents.

At Kah Nee Tah Gallery, photographer Nace Hagemann will be in-house from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. to share stories about his adventures in the Northwoods looking for moose and northern lights.

Maggie Anderson will give a pottery demo at the Grand Marais Art Colony at 1 p.m., and poet Caroline Giles Banks will read from her new “Picture a Poem” at Drury Lane Books at 5 p.m.

And, there’s lots going on at North House Folk School, too, including two-hour mini courses (breadbaking on Thursdays and raising a timber frame on Fridays). The craft residency this week features Allen Holzheuter demonstrating spinning in The Commons from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday through through Saturday, and the good ship Hjordis sails daily on a two-hour cruise. Visit for more info.

The Die Active Y-Art Sale is in Thunder Bay on Saturday.

And, if you’re going to Thunder Bay on Saturday, stop off at the park near the Hoito and take in the Die Active Y-Art Sale from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (EDT). The event is being held in partnership with the  Valley Fresh Buskers Festival, Juy 25-26.  The Y-Art Sale features the unique works of young-blooded artists, clothing designers and crafters. Shop for original art & crafts, handmade jewelry, vintage clothing & treasures, zines, books, buttons, records and more! Plus, live music, lemonade and food vendors.


  • Fisherman’s Picnic, Grand Marais, July 30-Aug. 2
  • Pour at 4, Bronze pour at Last Chance Gallery, 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 2
  • Rendezvous Days and Pow-wow, Grand Portage, Aug. 7-9
  • Susan Frame: Sumi-e painting exhibit, Johnson Heritage Post, opens Aug. 14
  • The Rev. R.L. Bush and the Revived Sons, (the best gospel group on the circuit today), North Shore Music Association, ACA, Aug. 22.  The Rev. Bush was the lead singer for the Carpenter Ants, who performed here last year.

In other art news,

Neil Sherman won First Place in the Quick Paint Competition at the Duluth Plein Air Festival last week with his “Let’s Meet Here..”


This photo by Stephan Hoglund was featured in the Cowboys and Indians Magazine recently. The article was about native fashion designers.


Betsy Bowen is participating in the Blueberry Festival in Ely this weekend.


Potter Guillermo Cuellar has new work at Last Chance Gallery in Lutsen. Cuellar will be teaching a five0-day workshop at the Grand Marais Art Colony in August. There are still a few openings left in the workshop. Contact the Art Colony for more info.

Sarah Angst has new work at Sivertson Gallery. This linoleum block print is called “Trees.” To see a video of her creating this work, click here.

And last, but not least, the Chalk.a.Lot festival in Two Harbors was a great success this year, with lots of artwork on the sidewalks. Some of the artists who participated were ArtedeMoira, David Gilsvik, Lenn Soderlund, David Zinn and Lauri Olson Hohman. Her chalk art came in second. Here it is:

Chalk art by Lauri Olson-Hohman.

Alex Deters and Brian Borglum came in first with their chalk art, below.

Chalk art by Alex Deters and Brian Borglum.

There’s lots of music this weekend. Here’s the schedule:

Thursday, July 23:

  • Joe Paulik, Music by the Campfire, Lutsen Resort, 6 p.m.

Friday, July 24:

  • Portage Band, American Legion, 6 p.m.
  • Pete Kavanaugh, Music by the Campfire, Eagle Ridge Resort, 7 p.m.
  • Jim & Michele Miller, Cascade Lodge Pub, 7:30p.m.
  • Eric Frost, Voyageur Brewing Co., 8 p.m.
  • Bug Lite, Gun Flint Tavern, 9 p.m.
  • Joe Paulik, Bluefin Grille, 9 p.m.

Saturday, July 25:

  • Superior Siren, Voyageur Brewing Co. Rooftop, 3 p.m.
  • SplinterTones, Harbor Park, 4-7 p.m.
  • J Squared and the Makers, Papa Charlie’s Deck, 6 p.m.
  • Joe Paulik, Music by the Campfire, Bluefin Bay, 7 p.m.
  • Jan Kallberg, Lutsen Resort, 7 p.m.
  • Michael Monroe, Log Cabin Concert, rural Grand Marais, 387-2919 for reservations
  • Pushing Chain, Gun Flint Tavern, 9 p.m.

Sunday, July 26:

  • The SplinterTones, Sunday Music on the Mountain, Caribou Highlands Lodge, 5-8 p.m.
  • Jim & Michelle Miller, Gun Flint Tavern, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, July 28:

  • Briand Morrison, The Pie Place Cafe, 6-8 p.m.

Summer has obviously arrived, and with it, photos of flowers. Here is a selection:

White water lily by David Johnson.


Lilies by Jim Christiansen.


Pink and white lady slippers by Paul Sundberg.


And here are some wonderful wildlife shots.

Hummingbird Family by Paul Sundberg. To see a video of a hummingbird building its nest, click here.


The moose triplets are growing up! Photo by David Johnson. “Always one has to be the leader” is how he captioned it.


Here are a pair of moose twins, also growing. Photo by Travis Novitsky.


Joseph Detrick caught this shot of a Great Gray Owl in our woods in June.


And here are some beautiful landscapes.

Sunset over a lake near Grand Marais by Bryan Hansel.


Palisade Sunrise by Thomas Spence.


Playing with Cloud Patterns by Sandra Updyke.


And finally, a beauty by Mary Amerman.

A Duluth sunrise. Photo by Mary Amerman.

Have a good weekend, everyone!










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Taconite Harbor was on the right track

Unorganized Territory - Wed, 07/22/2015 - 11:18am

In 2007, Taconite Harbor celebrated its 50th year of operation in Schroeder.

Just after we put last week’s issue “to bed” we received the disheartening news that Minnesota Power was going to idle the Taconite Harbor Energy Center in the fall of 2016.

I felt sick, thinking of all the friends who work at the plant, who rely on their job there to be able to live here on the North Shore.

I understand that Minnesota Power will try to help the 40-plus employees find work elsewhere. But that means families will have to either have long-distance lives or will have to leave their homes. It means taking kids out of schools and spouses away from well-established jobs in the community. I’m heartbroken for the Taconite Harbor folks who are facing this overwhelming change.

In addition to feeling sad for the families, I’m concerned about the impact this will have on our county’s economy. Minnesota Power is a major commercial taxpayer—will the value of their property be as high for a shuttered power plant as an operational one?

Will our schools, which are already struggling with declining funds because of decreased enrollment, be able to carry on with even fewer students? How will our clinic and hospital absorb the loss of that many families with decent medical insurance?

And, if the power plant ceases to exist, will it nullify our relationship— and therefore the credit we get on our property taxes— because we reside in what was a taconite district?

Will the idling have an impact statewide? According to Minnesota Power officials, when running at full capacity the Taconite Harbor Energy Center provides electricity for about 120,000 residential customers. Will taking that much electrical production out of the statewide power pool drive rates higher across the board?

Although hints of the idling have been coming for years, I didn’t really believe it would happen. I grew up with the power plant in Schroeder and went to school with kids who lived in the bustling town of Taconite Harbor. Crossing the county line and coming into Schroeder to see the billowing white steam clouds was part of coming home.

I know the cause of the closure is a mix of market forces and environmental issues. But as a kid I didn’t think much about the health effects of coal. As an adult, living away from the North Shore, I remember hearing environmental concerns about emissions from coal burning power plants. But truthfully, I still didn’t think much about it.

When our military family lived in Mannheim, Germany in the late 1970s, I was more bothered by the towers of the nuclear power plant we drove by on a regular basis.

The ugly side of coal was revealed to me on our second stint in Germany. When the Iron Curtain started to slip in 1989 and Czechoslovakia opened its borders to American tourists, we took advantage and visited Prague.

Our family was welcomed kindly by the Czech people. We enjoyed seeing the Prague Castle and the Charles Bridge, which is featured in the opening scene of the first Mission Impossible movie. I bought an exquisite crystal vase and a matryoshka doll and we enjoyed crepes made by street vendors. It is an amazing town and we could see why it is sometimes considered equal in beauty to Paris.

I did notice though, that the stunning old buildings were dingy. A haze hung over the historic city. We enjoyed the trip nonetheless, but when we returned to Germany the subject came up. I asked why the former communist country seemed so smoggy? I was informed that it is because of the prevalence of coal—and the lack of environmental oversight.

I was glad then, when I moved back to Cook County in 1995 and started working at the local newspaper to learn—and write about— Minnesota Power’s efforts to meet and exceed the standards of the Environmental Protection Agency and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. I was pleased to work on articles detailing the millions of dollars being invested in the plant to reduce its sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and mercury emissions while producing power.

But recently I’ve been troubled by the push to eliminate coal from our country’s portfolio forever. For some groups no matter how low the emissions go, it is not low enough.

I’m not an engineer, but Minnesota Power’s plan to keep improving its coal burning techniques made sense to me. We need power to operate our computers and charge our cellphones and heat our houses. I don’t think enough power can be generated from wind farms and solar panels for all of us. I’m not an energy broker, but I think coal needs to be part of our country’s energy portfolio— especially coal that can be processed in compliance with U.S. standards for emissions.

I’m not a scientist, but I thought Minnesota Power was on the right track in Schroeder. I’m sorry it won’t get to continue down that path.


In times like these it helps to recall that there have always been times like these.

Paul Harvey

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