April 23, 2015

Fond du Lac will not net or spear on Lake Vermilion this year

Bois Forte Tribal Chair Kevin Leecy announced on Thursday, April 16, that the Fond du Lac Band of Chippewa will not gill net or spear walleye on Lake Vermilion this year.
Earlier this year, Fond du Lac had informed the state of Minnesota that it intended to allow its members to net and spear on Lake Vermilion. On Wednesday, April 15, the Bois Forte Reservation Tribal Council passed a resolution urging Fond du Lac not to issue netting and spearing permits.
Leaders of the three tribes who have fishing rights on Lake Vermilion under the Treaty of 1854 ­ Bois Forte, Fond du Lac and Grand Portage ­ met on Thursday with staff from their Departments of Natural Resources and the 1854 Treaty Authority, an intertribal organization that manages off-reservation hunting, fishing and gathering rights for Bois Forte and Grand Portage.
Leecy announced Fond du Lac's new decision not to net or spear during a community meeting with Bois Forte tribal members.
"Fond du Lac has the right to harvest fish in the 1854 ceded territory, and we defend their right," Leecy said. "But we have significant concerns about them harvesting in our backyard. Fond du Lac tribal members use motorized boats to net, while Bois Forte tribal members net in the traditional way with canoes only. Also, Fond du Lac has access to many lakes in the ceded territory besides Lake Vermilion, which we consider part of our reservation."
The Governor's Fishing Opener will be held on Lake Vermilion this May, and Leecy said that the spotlight should be on the region's tremendous tourism opportunities, not tribal netting. "Our Fortune Bay Resort Casino is an active member and the single largest tax contributor to the Lake Vermilion Resort & Tourism Association; we have fostered good relationships with neighboring resort owners. The opener should be a time for all of us to shine."
Bois Forte Secretary Treasurer David Morrison Sr. said that the three tribes will continue to meet on a government-to-government level about netting and spearing on Lake Vermilion.
"They want to discuss what will happen next year. We can do that. We got input from our tribal members during Thursday's community meeting, and we will get together with Fond du Lac and Grand Portage this summer and again in the fall. It's workable."

Greenwood citizens can have confidence in its fire department

by Mary Worringer

Chairman Kirsten Reichel called the meeting of the Greenwood Board of Supervisors to order at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 14
Motions were made, seconded and passed unanimously to approve the Minutes of the March 25, 2015 reorganization meeting, the Treasurer's Report, to pay bills totaling $30,822.25 and to pay fixed bills and payroll on the first of next month.
Mr. Derrick Passe of the Northern St. Louis County Soil and Water Conservation District made a short presentation regarding watershed issues, water quality and invasive species. Intensive watershed monitoring will begin in May. Lake Vermilion, Sand River, and Pike River are among the bodies of water that will be monitored. Students from the Vermilion Community College will be assisting. The public kickoff for citizen engagement will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 29th at the Greenwood Township Hall.
Comments from the public included:
Joe Caskinette read an email he sent to the Supervisors inquiring why Greenwood First Responders did not respond to a medical emergency on March 13th at Trout Lake. He asked what the protocol for responding is, and if volunteers are being paid a dollar amount per hour to be on call to respond to emergencies. He concluded by asking whether the Greenwood citizens can be confident that the Fire Department will respond to emergencies.
Sally Christopherson asked at what time the Hall is opened up on Board meeting evenings so that residents can meet together beforehand to discuss their concerns and decide whether to sign up to express their concerns to the Board. Chairman Reichel advised it would be okay for them to do so, and that the Township Hall would be open by 6:00 p.m.
Don Doroff expressed concern about the constant criticism directed at the Fire Department since Dave Fazio was hired as Chief in November of 2013. He reminded the public that eleven new Emergency Medical Responders came on Board in the Spring of 2014, two firefighters who had quit rejoined and that there were new firefighters as well. An NFPA Firefighter I and II course was held at the Greenwood Hall from September 29, 2014 through February 9, 2015. He asked that the Fire Department be supported not attacked.
Jet Galonski, identifying himself as a new firefighter, pointed out what he believed to be inconsistencies in Mr. Caskinette's email to the Board regarding the Trout Lake EMS call and advised that he went to the Fire Hall in response to that EMS call.
The Planning and Zoning Commission changed Ordinance fees and also rezoned the landfill on Highway #77 to Mixed Use 4. This rezoning was required by the MPCA. The Planning and Zoning Director requested that the Board approve the new fees and the rezoning of #77. A motion was made, seconded and unanimously passed approving both.
Supervisor Bassing read a letter from an unnamed constituent who was displeased that the Board appointed The Tower News to publish its legal notices for the next Board year instead of The Timberjay.
The Board adopted new policies, the most substantive including:
Who is authorized to contact the Township Attorney: Chairman of the Board, Vice Chairman, Clerk, Planning and Zoning Director and Department Heads, including the Fire Chief, Planning Commission and Board of Adjustment. If permission is obtained by the Chairman, individual Board members may also contact the Township Attorney.
Monthly Spending Authority: After discussion, it was decided to not give the Chairman and Vice Chairman discretionary spending authority of any kind. The Clerk $500, the Treasurer $500; the Fire Chief $1,000 and the Maintenance Director $1,000.
Email/Courtesy/Respect: Representatives, citizens and employees of the Township should not distribute disparaging, harassing or threatening emails about each other and to be respectful of each other. Also that emails marked CONFIDENTIAL should remain so and not be distributed.
Tape Recording: Minutes of Board, Planning & Zoning Commission, Board of Adjustment and Fire Department Meetings will be maintained until approval of Minutes. Special Town Board Meetings, Closed Meetings and Public Hearings will be preserved for 3 years.
All policies were passed unanimously, with the one exception: Supervisor Bassing wants Board Meeting recordings to be preserved.
Greenwood Roadside Cleanup Day is Saturday, April 25th. Bags and vests are available by the front door. Residents can leave bags by the sand pile at the Hall. St. Louis County supplied 10 permits so that bags picked up from the side of the road can be taken to the #77 landfill free of charge. Pizza will be the volunteers' reward.
Four applications were received to fill vacancies on the Board of Adjustment and Planning and Zoning Commission. Supervisors Baland and Worringer will review the applications and make a recommendation to the Board at the May meeting. They will also make a recommendation for a procedure to follow to fill vacancies going forward.
Supervisor Worringer was appointed as the Representative from the Board to attend Fire Department meetings.
A donation in the amount of $15,000 to the Greenwood Fire Department was received from Bois Forte.
The Board unanimously voted to approve liquor license applications for Gruben's Marina Off-Sale, Timbuktu Marina Off-Sale Intoxicating, and Vermilion Club On/Off Sale Intoxicating.
Chief Fazio reported that in March there was 1 drill, 1 meeting, 3 trainings and an additional meeting. There were 11 EMS calls, which were all responded to. There was a FD call for a fuel leak, two auto alarms and 1 mutual aid with Cook. The deadline for a DNR grant is in June. He stressed the dry conditions and cautioned people to be careful. The ice will be out soon, and the two fireboats will be put in at Gruben's, with the smaller boat being relocated to Birch Point Marine when they get their boatlifts in.
Chief Fazio responded to Joe Caskinette's email to the Board of Supervisors regarding the Trout Lake EMS call, clarifying protocol, and directing residents to the graph drawn by Supervisor Worringer reflecting that in 2012, 61% of EMS calls in Greenwood were responded to; in 2013, 54%; from January through May 7 of 2014, 13%. From May 8 through the end of December, 2014, 100% of the 105 EMS calls were responded to. From January through March, 25 out of 25 EMS calls were responded to. He assured the Board and public that the Greenwood Fire Department is reliable.
The Planning and Zoning Director noted that she has issued 8 building permits and that things are picking up. The Planning and Zoning Commission approved a Conditional Use Permit for Gruben's to have a liquor store, convenience store and a food truck.
Supervisor Milbridge attended the Tower Ambulance Commission meeting and advised that costs for ambulances are increasing. The Tower Ambulance Service anticipates that the per capita charge of $10 will be increased to $15 in 2017.
Supervisor Baland talked with Dean Panian who offered free labor to install a bocce ball court. Dean is looking for materials and helpers; he provided the Board with a materials list to review. No action was required.
Supervisor Baland wants to attend a Minnesota Association of Townships Legal Short Course on April 23rd in Otsego, MN at a cost of $60.00. A motion was made, seconded and unanimously passed to pay for the course.

Yoots extend record over Coots to 11-1 with 98-78 win


The 11th annual Yoots/Coots basketball game pitting the North Woods boys basketball team against a team made up of fathers, grandfather and (?) was held Monday at 6:45 p.m. in the Grizzlies' Den. The Coots hoped to gain a second win in this rivalry which would go to 12 games.
The event, which raises money for the Cook Area Food Shelf, started off with a three-point contest. John "Little John" Franks and Kevin "Not In My Home" Villebrun faced off against Cole Martin and Spencer Viita, with the Yoots going ahead 7-6. Tate Olson kept the Yoots ahead with the next round as the Yoots went up 11-9. The Yoots took the three-point contest 16-13.
The Coots had such well-known basketball legends as Rick "Grandpa Slick" Aune, Andy "The Polish Flash" Zibrowski, Johnny "Little John" Franks, Ricky "Sun Burned Legs" Viita, Leo "The Alango King" Wilenius, Kevin "Not in My Home" Villebrun, Dave "How Do I Get In" Shuster, and several other senior citizens. They would face Grizzlies such as Jaylen Strong, Cole Martin, Tate Olson, Spencer Viita, Garrett Snidarich, Noah Squires, Christian Bloom and others. The game would be played in 20-minute halves with running time used to save the Coots.
Martin scored for the Yoots, but Kevin Villebrun drained a three for the Coots to start the game. The Yoots went up 6-3 on a driving Martin score before Little John scored. The Coots went ahead a surprising 13-8 before the youngsters tied it at 16. The Coots went up 22-18, but the Yoots used their young legs to run the Coots into the ground, leading 52-39 at the half. The second half was more of the same, strictly playground basketball with no defense. The play of the game came when Martin scored after grabbing a reported 17 rebounds by announcer John Marconett who couldn't play due to his legs saying no. Martin finally put it in to make it 44-33.
The record is now Yoots 11 wins and Coots one win. The ambulance didn't have to be called and no oxygen was needed. Grandpa Aune used one of his"no look" passes to throw the ball to the corner where no one was, also. The crowd enjoyed the game and food, and money for the Food Shelf went to a good cause.

Country Music Show & Pie Social returns

by A.J. Shuster

For seven years this musical fundraiser was held at the former Orr School. After several years of hiatus, it is being reinstated. Past funds raised went to such supportive actions as playground equipment, a DVD player for Home Ec., royalty payments for a play for the Drama Club, outdoor lights for the Sportsmen Club, and a sound system with microphones for the Music Department, to name a few.
This year's event will take place Saturday, April 25, at 7 p.m., and will be held in the Commons of North Woods School. Featuring local vocalists and the band "Forty Below," it will be good, family entertainment. Cost for all, including the pie social, is $10 for adults and $5 for students. Proceeds will go to the Senior Band's trip to Disney World, where they will play with the Disney musicians.
Supporters of the Music Department are sponsoring "Forty Below," while band members do behind-the-scenes work. Master of ceremonies will be Danny Tausk. Organizers are Judy Koch (757-3170), Judy Long (757-3991), and Larry Baker (666-5221). Volunteers are welcomed.


Pick up this week's paper for more stories and pictures...

Volunteers Needed! For the 2015 Minnesota Gov-ernor's Fishing Opener

McCollum seeks ban on new mines in much of Northeastern Minnesota

PolyMet could soothe Range's economic problems

Letters to the Editor ...