Around Cook County
It may be a while before people enjoying outdoor sports near the Cook County tennis courts, Community Center, and ball fields will be able to find a drink of water outside.
At the August 27 county board meeting, Commissioner Garry Gamble reported on his visit to the Grand Marais Public Utilities Commission (PUC) where he was told the city would not be interested in waiving the $1,000 hookup fee for a drinking fountain near the tennis courts.
At the PUC meeting, Gamble was told that the old fountain near the tennis courts had leaked, frozen in the wintertime, and been vandalized. City Water/wastewater Superintendent Tom Nelson had said the location that has been suggested might be too close to the fire hydrant.
Minnesota requires school children to have certain immunizations, and these early days of the school year mean time for vaccination updates. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with Sawtooth Mountain Clinic nurse Amy Marie Schmidt about what shots kids need and when.
The Care Partners Senior Rides program is an exciting new resource for seniors in the community. Senior Rides is a volunteer assisted transportation program that fills in the gap for transportation needs not met by Arrowhead Transit or friends and relatives.
“Arrowhead Transit is a great resource in Cook County,” commented Debi LaMusga, the program’s new coordinator. “But there are times when the Duluth schedule doesn’t work for them, or the day gets too long. They may need someone to walk with them to the office or help with grocery bags.”
In addition to medical trips to Duluth or other regional centers, Senior Rides will offer rides within Cook County for medical appointments as well as wellness and social activities for those over 60. “Care Partners is pleased to offer another way to help seniors live independently and safely and another resource for their caregivers,” says Care Partners Program Director Kay Grindland.
Care Partners is currently recruiting Senior Rides volunteer drivers. Volunteers must have a reliable vehicle and good driving record. Care Partners will reimburse mileage and provide a short training. Providing this one-on-one service can be very rewarding and the schedule is very flexible. Volunteers can choose to provide rides to Duluth, or just around town.
The first orientation is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 4 from 2 to 4 p.m. in the lower level classroom at Sawtooth Mountain Clinic. Call 387-3788 to sign up or for more information.
The Senior Center has been offering volunteer-assisted rides for out-of-county medical reasons for many years. A federal Older Americans Act grant from the ARDC Arrowhead Area Agency on Aging has allowed Care Partners to expand on that service. Care Partners is working closely with the Senior Center to transfer their service to Senior Rides so all volunteer assisted transportation is under one roof.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of people per day visit Artists Point during the busy summer season. Visitors are drawn to the Point to enjoy the view, explore shoreline rocks, experience its small forest, observe wildlife, and absorb the sights and sounds of this natural Lake Superior setting.
Few of the visitors know, however, that the area in Grand Marais known as Artists Point is actually part of the Superior National Forest.
The Point includes a well-defined and dense network of unmaintained user trails in its small forest. Soil erosion, soil compaction, root exposure, and vegetation trampling is abundant. Due to poor drainage and the natural topography of the peninsula, there are puddles and large muddy areas in the forested portion of Artists Point during the summer months. Poor access, water obstacles, and fallen trees impede easy access to the area by visitors, leading to the expansion of user trails and additional impacts.
The Superior National Forest is working to manage recreational use of Artists Point to improve visitors’ experiences at the site and protect natural resources. Beginning soon, a three-phase plan to improve the area will begin; plans call for completion by next spring.
The plan includes:
• Development of a trail through the interior of the forested portion of Artists Point with spur trails to access points of interest. A developed trail will provide safer and drier access to both sides of the Point.
• Replacement of the existing steps going up to the breakwater. New steps will be better designed, safer to use, and include even step height. The Army Corps of Engineers also plans to repair the handrail going out to the lighthouse.
The Cook County Go Team and the Cook County Chamber of Commerce have invited community members to public meetings in early September to consider a vision for the future of our county. Go Team spokesperson Jim Boyd said four meetings are planned, to ensure everyone can find one that works.
Boyd explains that Go Team is a group of more than 20 community leaders from around the county. The group has been meeting once every six weeks for the past year to examine the state of the county economy—which has performed poorly over the past dozen years—and consider meaningful steps that might help create a more prosperous future. Boyd said members of the Go Team were chosen with an eye to ensuring every area of the county was represented, along with all the major economic stakeholder groups, while keeping the membership to a manageable size.
The recently formed Cook County Chamber of Commerce, which is focused on bringing a higher, sustained level of prosperity to county businesses, was instrumental in creation of the Go Cook County project.
The meetings scheduled for Sept. 4 and 5 will present the Go Team vision and detail it five priorities. Those who attend will have an opportunity to comment on the vision and priorities, and thus to guide further Go Team work in refining both.
Cook County Go Team Public Meetings
* Wednesday, Sept. 4, 1 p.m. Schaap Community Center (attached to the Gunflint Trail 1 at mid-Fire Hall No. 1.
* Wednesday, Sept. 4, 7 p.m. St. John’s Catholic Church, Grand Marais
* Thursday, Sept. 5, 1 p.m., Grand Portage Community Building, Grand Portage
* Thursday, Sept. 5, 7 p.m., Birch Grove Community Center, Tofte
Schools in Cook County are back in session this week. What’s new and what’s stayed the same? What about changes in testing and revisions to No Child Left Behind? How will our schools use the new Cook County Community YMCA? How will broadband affect student learning?
Join Jay Andersen host of WTIP’s First Thursday Community Conversation and his guests on September 5th at 7pm for: “Back to School – the 2013-14 Edition”… this month’s First Thursday Community Conversation.
You can join the discussion before or during the broadcast, by calling 387-1070, 800-473-9847, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The guest list includes school administrators and board members. That’s “Back to School – the 2013-14 Edition”… this month’s First Thursday Community Conversation. September 5th, 7 p.m. to 8 pm. Only on WTIP North Shore Community Radio!