Showing posts from May, 2023

The Long Way Home 5.26.23

About a year ago I wrote a column about overtourism and the fact that no one in positions that matter on the North Shore was paying the subject any attention. It actually got a lot of circulation on the Facebook webs and plenty of attention from the tourism supporters who think I’m a moron, mostly because I would not have moved here if not for tourism. That is so obviously true that it doesn’t require a response. I still don’t hear much talk of regulating tourism numbers, except about the wilderness area, but I won’t write about that today. Instead, I’ll tell a personal story. The bohunk and I have five grandchildren that we love and cherish. Our first and oldest granddaughter Abbey, who lives in Reno, NV, graduated high school three years ago at the height of the pandemic. Her commencement involved sitting in the car listening to the typical drivel of those ceremonies on the radio and then driving up to receive her diploma. Not as exciting as parading into the Met Center in Bloomingt

The Long Way Home 5.19.23

The late Massachusetts Senator Paul Tsongas, in his memoir published in 1984 wrote, “Nobody on his deathbed ever said, ‘I wish I had spent more time at the office.’”  My life in the 1980s was a hectic whirlpool of activity, most of it devoted to work. Despite the fact we were raising four kids I was working five and a half to six days a week managing a fast growing business in a rapidly changing industry. (Sounds like the lead-in to a resume’). Balancing the needs of a devoted spouse, the suburban lifestyle of fast growing kids, aging parents, needy business partners, all while going through my 30s was an arduous task. Then I came across those words of wisdom from Senator Tsongas. No one ever goes out wishing they’d spent more time at work. So I set a goal to retire by the time I was 40.  I thought about those challenging times when I came across a Facebook post from a young lady on my family tree who seems to be where I was three decades ago.  Tenley is my late cousin Jerry’s daughter

Gunflint Trail Based Sage Care Begins Home Care Management Business

 Ash Kwasniewicz has started Sage Care to help people maintain health, happiness, and comfort while staying in the security of their own homes. Licensed by the State of Minnesota and fully insured, Sage offers a menu of services ranging from meal prep and housekeeping to child and caregiver respite. Currently Ash is a part-time paraprofessional at Great Expectations School in Grand Marais and works as a part time contractor with Cook County Public Health and Human Services offering child respite care. She is moving into her new business full time. Ash incorporated Sage Care under an LLC last July. “I’d been thinking about this for several years,” she said. She began marketing Sage this Spring.  “The word Sage defines me and my demeanor,” Ash said. “Calm and safe.” Ash grew up in Surprise, AZ, a small city northwest of Phoenix, Ash had no definite career plans but she wanted to travel and explore after graduation. She traveled to Hawaii and Alaska working seasonal jobs and enjoying the

International Brick Collectors Association Holds Summer Swap and Convention in Grand Marais

People collect all kinds of things. Some collect baseball cards. Others collect stamps, coins, or antique cars. Some even collect old bricks. Especially those that are branded with company names and logos or the significant building they were once a part of. The International Brick Collectors Association (IBCA) is holding its summer swap event, titled “The Great Northern Get Together,” at the Grand Marais Recreation Park and Campground June 9 and 10.  The event, hosted by Colvill residents Jeff and Dana Bartheld, is open to the public. According to Jeff they are expecting 60-70 people to attend from around the country. “We already have responses from Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Kansas, Ohio, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Virginia,” he said. “Lots of these folks have never been this far north.” According to a brick collecting website, “Collecting old, branded brick is a growing hobby. Some call it a crazy hobby, but to find, touch, and ow

Plans for Cook County Courthouse Expansion Include More Space for PHHS

Starting last year, Cook County officials have been gathering data in an effort to assess maintenance needs that have been deferred for a number of years for the 25 buildings under the county’s purview. They estimate the cost of bringing maintenance on these properties current will be $13.4 million over the next five years. They also recognized the need for additional space for Law Enforcement and Public Health and Human Services (PHHS) operations and efficiency.  Law Enforcement needs appropriate space for evidence processing and storage along with expansion of the secure entry space to the jail.  The courthouse is reported to be short of appropriate workspaces, notably affecting PHHS. The plan is to build an addition on the east end of the courthouse with 3,200 square feet of new office space. The estimated cost for these two construction projects is between $8.4 and $11.4 million. Unless you or someone you know has availed themselves of its services, it can be difficult to know exac

North Shore Glamping Comes to Beaver Bay This Month

North Shore Camping Co. is opening a new “glampground” in Beaver Bay May 12. Located on the inland side of Highway 61, number 4595, on a ridge overlooking Lake Superior. Camping North Shore offers 10 fully equipped glamping sites. Glampers will find an inviting facility that includes all the amenities, from bedding (and beds) to cookware, firepits, heaters and lighting. Glampers have easy access to the Superior Hiking Trail and biking on the Gitchi-Gami State Trail.  North Shore camping is powered by Cove Point Lodge which is just across the highway according to a press release it issued. Kate Williams, General Manager for Cove Point and Project Manager for the glampground, said that they will be ready for guests on opening day. She said North Shore Camping embraces the Scandinavian concept of open air-air living.  Glamping combines the words glamorous and camping. It describes a style of camping with amenities and resort-style services not usually associated with "traditional&quo

The Long Way Home 05.12.23

It’s been years since I’ve been inside a movie theater. The Toms, Hanks and Cruise, are firmly in my consciousness. Pacino and Dreyfus are there too. But any of the under 60 actors today are blank spaces in my open, but nearly vacant mind. As for music, Dylan, Waylon, Taylor, the Beatles and Jimmy Buffet are on my Pandora. They are far from the current scene. I’m blissfully ignorant of most current Grammy winners. Radio, which introduced so much music to me in the last century, is now for talk only.  Working the cash register at the local Holiday station allows me to see how out of touch I am with the younger generation. And how out of touch they are with mine. The other day I was chatting with a regular customer, something I probably do more than I should. Let's say he was Generation Z. Late 20s to early 30s for those of you, like me, who don’t know what Generation Z is. Anyway, I started talking a bit too fast and my tongue got wrapped around my eye teeth and I couldn’t see what

The Long Way Home 05.05.23

Writing a column for this wonderful, locally owned weekly newspaper has turned out to be one of the highlights of my so-called golden years. I particularly enjoy the warm fuzzies I get when people I don’t even know, and some that I do know, tell me they enjoy reading the result of my toils. I get the warm fuzzies even when they tell me they don’t always agree with me or have trouble figuring out where certain columns are going. Little do they know, I don’t always agree with me either and I find it troubling sometimes to see where a particular column is going. Lucky for me, no one complains anymore about the headshot at the top of this column. The original pics, selfies of course, apparently made me look old and/or grumpy. I told those who complained that I am old and grumpy, so there.  Using my inhouse photographer a couple months ago I finally got a photo that captured my brightest smile. I hate having my picture taken. Some people want to know how I can find something to write about

Story of Cook County Home Center

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