Around Cook County
(Click on audio mp3 above to hear an interview with J. Drake Hamilton of Fresh Energy.)
On Wednesday, April 11, there will be an open public forum to discuss the future of clean energy in northeastern Minnesota. Speakers will include Al Rudeck, Vice President of Strategy and Planning, Minnesota Power; Bishop Tom Aitken, Northeastern Minnesota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; J. Drake Hamilton, Science Policy Director, Fresh Energy; Jill Doberstein, Program Manager, American Lung Association of Minnesota; and Michael LeBeau, Owner, Conservation Technologies. The panel discussion and question-and-answer period will be moderated by the League of Women Voters of Duluth.
Minnesota is at a crossroads on energy. The state can continue to invest in clean energy and efficiency or choose to continue burning coal and polluting the air and water while sending billions of dollars out of state. Smart policies have made Minnesota a clean energy leader, but northeastern Minnesota still gets almost 95 percent of its electricity from burning coal.
Minnesota Power has been required by the state Public Utilities Commission to study near-term plans for transitioning from its oldest coal plants and replacing that power with cheaper, cleaner energy such as energy efficiency, wind, and solar power.
This forum will provide information about Minnesota Power’s report on the future of their oldest coal plants, and panelists will discuss plans for diversifying the state's electricity supply to clean, efficient sources of energy that will create and sustain good paying jobs in northeastern Minnesota.
Forum sponsors include the League of Women Voters of Duluth, Northeastern Minnesota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Fresh Energy, Izaak Walton League of America—McCabe Chapter, Minnesota Environmental Partnership, Minnesota Public Interest Research Group (MPIRG) and the Sierra Club
The forum is free and open to the public.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
University of Minnesota, Duluth
Labovitz School of Business and Economics, Room 125
1318 Kirby Drive, Duluth, MN 55812
More information is available from J. Drake Hamilton, Hamilton@fresh-energy.org, 651.726.7562
Join Randy Back of the Northeast Minnesota Office of Job Training for a free three-hour job-seeking skills workshop on Tuesday, April 17, at Cook County Higher Education.
This interactive workshop will cover job search training, resume development and interview preparation. In this workshop, participants will learn to identify employment opportunities, write job-winning resumes, create persuasive cover letters that lead to interviews, and develop effective interviewing techniques that will result in more job offers.
Back is a professional employment and training career counselor with the Northeast Minnesota Office of Job Training. For more than 15 years, he has assisted dislocated workers, youth and the underemployed in Cook, Lake and St. Louis counties deal with a variety of job-seeking issues. Back has a master's degree in counseling and is a National Board Certified counselor.
The job-seeking skills workshop will be offered from 5:30-8:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 17, at Cook County Higher Education's North Shore Campus in Grand Marais. Register no later than Friday, April 14 by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (218) 387-3411.
Join Lisa Jemtrud of the Better Business Bureau, St. Paul, for an “ethics booster” workshop for business from 2-4 p.m. on Thursday, April 12 at Cook County Higher Education's North Shore Campus.
Jemtrud is a 12-year veteran of the BBB with experience in alternative dispute resolution, white collar crime investigations, media relations and educational program development. She currently leads the BBB’s educational foundation, the BBB Institute for Marketplace Ethics. Jemtrud has made previous presentations in Cook County and received rave reviews.
In the April 12 workshop, attendees will be advised on best practices in ethical sales and marketing; fair competition; transparency with stakeholders; operating procedures and internal controls; and ethics policies for your business
About the workshop, Jemtrud advises, “Don’t worry, this booster won’t hurt a bit – just remember the old saying…an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Dust off your business plan and bring it to this workshop…We’ll be making some updates.”
The workshop consists of a full group presentation and then a small group breakout session to address specific business needs. Attendees will receive “checks & balances” checklists (including an in-store and an online customer experience checklist) as well as a variety of resources to help your business thrive. You’ll also receive tips for creating an ethical workplace culture.
The Better Business Bureau is a non-profit organization celebrating 100 years of serving both the business community and consumers. The BBB’s mission is to promote an ethical marketplace where buyers and sellers trust each other. For more about the BBB, please visit www.bbb.org.
A recount of ballots cast in the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa 2012 primary election showed a slightly different number of votes cast for the Reservation Tribal Council (RTC) committeeman seat, however, the difference was not enough to change the outcome of the upcoming general election. Robert J. Hull and Marie Spry will go on to the general election on June 12, 2012.
The initial count on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 for Reservation Tribal Council showed Marie Spry in the lead with 132 votes, Robert J. Hull in second with 110 votes and William “Bill” Myers with 109 votes. Rita Evans received 11 votes.
After the votes were recounted, Spry was again in the lead with 133 votes; Hull in second with 116 votes; Myers with 111 and Evans again with 11 votes. The two candidates who receive the most votes proceed to the general election, so the recount confirms that Hull and Spry moving on to the June election.
Incumbent Tribal Chair Norman W. Deschampe was also on the ballot for the primary election. The vote for chair was not challenged and was not involved in the recount.
Deschampe earned 51% of the vote, with 199 votes. Because he garnered over half of the votes, Deschampe is reelected and will not have to be on the ballot for general election in June. Deschampe has served as tribal chair for 20 years.
The election was held in accordance with Minnesota Chippewa Tribe ordinances
The Grand Portage Reservation Tribal Council is the governing body of the reservation. Current members of the Tribal Council are Chair Norman Deschampe, Vice-Chair John Morrin; Secretary-Treasurer April McCormick; Councilman Arvid Dahl; and Councilman William “Bill” Myers. The council oversees health care, social services, education, jobs, housing, public safety, and more.
At the March Tofte township meeting, citizens heard an interesting update from Birch Grove Foundation Director Patty Nordahl—about bread. Nordahl said the foundation was looking at installing an outside brick oven on the Birch Grove Community Center grounds.
Brick ovens are popular and are used by groups to make pizzas and bread (among other things) for large gatherings. The cost is estimated at $6,000, said Nordahl.
“There might even be a chance to sell bread to area restaurants,” said Nordahl, adding that she didn’t know if there were any commercial health code rules prohibiting or allowing such sales.
After some discussion the Tofte town board said it was behind the concept, and discussed ways to finance building an outdoor oven.
Tofte Supervisor Jim King asked Nordahl if she was familiar with the brick oven at North House Folk School, and Nordahl said yes, the one being proposed for Birch Grove was similar in size. King said North House has classes make brick ovens and one could possibly be purchased from the school cheaper than one being built at the center.
Nordahl will pursue that option and come back to the board with an update. The next Tofte Town Meeting is Thursday, April 12 at 6 p.m. at the Town Hall.
Cook County Viking Ashley Deschampe is one of five players named by the Duluth News Tribune to its 2012 All-Area Girls Basketball Team.
The senior Viking guard led her team in scoring every game this year. She averaged nearly 25 points per game and snared five and a half rebounds. She also averaged more than three assists per game and three steals.
Deschampe is the Vikes’ career scoring leader with more than 1,800 points scored. During her four-year starting role for Coach TJ Super, she had games of 44 and 34 points each in Section 7-A playoff games.
Deschampe was named this year as the most valuable player in the Polar League, She was also recognized as an honorable mention on both the Minneapolis StarTribune and St. Paul Pioneer Press All-State Teams.
Superior, Wisconsin sophomore forward Jessica Lindstrom was named All-Area Player of the Year by the News Tribune.
Also named to the Duluth paper’s All-Area First Team were senior guard Alex Freeman of Duluth East, senior guard Mariah McDonald of Ely and junior center Savanna Trapp of Esko.