Around Cook County
E.A.T.S. 2013 (Enriching Academics Through Sustenance) will be held 6 - 8 p.m., Thursday, March 14 at the high school to supports the Cook County School District 166 Education Foundation. Over $72,000 in grants have been awarded since 2002 for projects and activities that provide extraordinary educational opportunities for students. Enjoy samples from 12-plus restaurants and food vendors, entertainment and support ISD 166.
Legislation was introduced yesterday to reinstate a five-year moratorium on recreational wolf hunting and trapping. The House bill is a companion to one already in the Senate.
The bill calls for a five-year wait before another wolf hunting season can be proposed, and only for population management purposes after other options are explored.
Also, members of Congress are asking federal officials not to revoke protections for the gray wolf in sections of the lower 48 states where the predator remains on the endangered species list.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering whether to drop the wolf from the endangered list in areas where none are known to exist.
A letter to the agency sent Tuesday by 52 U.S. House members says legal protections should remain because the wolf could continue expanding its territory elsewhere, benefiting the environment.
Local birder and guide Erik Bruhnke will talk about birds that migrate and live along the North Shore at 10 a.m. March 9 at Sugarloaf Cove Nature Center.
The North Shore is renowned as a great place to see thousands of hawks in the fall. But did you know that there are also thousands of smaller birds moving through our woods in the spring and summer? Erik will introduce you to his favorites and tell you the best places and times to see the most birds this spring. He will also throw in stories about the owl irruption this February, and have some of his many photos on display.
This program is free and open to the public.
Sugar Loaf Cove Nature Center is located lakeside off Highway 61 at mile 73.3.
For more information call (218) 525-0001 or visit www.sugarloafnorthshore.org
Two bids came in for plowing the 10.5 miles of the newly created Irish Creek Subordinate Government Service District (SGSD). The area covers portions of roads west of the Arrowhead Trail in Hovland. One of the bids did not provide enough of the required information. The other bid was from LaBoda Grading, which proposed plowing before noon every time at least two inches of snow fell for a fee of $550—a cost of $52.38 per mile.
Commissioner Sue Hakes asked Highway Engineer David Betts and Maintenance Supervisor Russell Klegstad if they thought the price was reasonable. Betts said they had thought the cost might be closer to $350 or $400 but that was without having someone scope out the route in person. The Highway Department budgeted for 12 snowfalls costing $300 each between the start of the contract and the end of this winter. Statistics are kept over the course of time so that when bids for already established SGSDs are received each fall for the upcoming winter, the department has some idea how to budget.
In a separate interview, Engineer Betts explained that contractors’ snowplowing costs can vary significantly from one road to the next. Contractors do figure in the amount of time and fuel that getting to the site will require. But even if distance wasn’t a factor, the width and condition of a road affect the time and cost to plow it. Some Subordinate Government Service District snowplow routes routinely get a lot more snow than others, so when it’s time to plow, some contractors have a lot more to plow. Some roads have fewer convenient places to put the snow and require bigger equipment to handle the job.
“The market always tells you what the right cost is,” Engineer Betts said.
The Cook County boys basketball team begins Section 7A, Subsection 1 tournament play on Thursday at Esko.
The Vikings, ranked number 5 at 13 and 7, face number 4 Fond du Lac Ojibwe (16 and 7) at 6 p.m. WTIP will broadcast the game beginning with the pre-game show at 5:45 p.m.
Number 10 Silver Bay faces number 7 Carlton Tuesday.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) invites
comments through March 20 on a permit that regulates construction
stormwater throughout the state.
Under the federal Clean Water Act and Minnesota law, the MPCA oversees
a program to manage stormwater runoff from construction activities.
These activities include clearing, excavating and grading that disturb
more than one acre of soil. The purpose of the state program is to
protect water resources from pollutants, particularly sediment, as
well as nutrients, oil, chemicals and litter carried with runoff. In
addition, the program strives to prevent this runoff from flooding
streams and lakes and damaging habitat for fish and wildlife.
The MPCA issues a general permit that requires controls for
construction stormwater runoff. When construction site owners and
operators apply for coverage under the general permit, they agree to
comply with the conditions set in the permit.
The current permit expires Aug. 1, 2013. Because federal rules have
changed since the last permit was issued in 2008, the MPCA must update
the general permit to comply with these rules. Based on research and
experience, the federal government continues to make changes to ensure
that adequate best management practices are in place. While the
primary changes concern federal rules, the changes also include
reorganization of the permit language. The draft permit includes
clarifications and minor language changes to make the permit more
concise, to delete duplicate or unneeded language, and to make the
permit more readable and easier to understand.
In addition, the MPCA will require that permit applications be