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Everyone has a viewpoint on Wisconsin Point. Some call it a treasure, "the most beautiful landscape in Superior," an asset. Others refer to it as the Wild West, "filthy and strewn with trash," pathetic. When a group from the Leadership Superior/Douglas County program decided to tackle the issues on Wisconsin Point this fall; they started by getting the public involved. A poll was offered online through the Superior Telegram and Duluth News Tribune Web sites.
State cuts to tobacco cessation funding have impacted youth as well. In the Maple School District, a project that has been warning students of the dangers of smoking for more than a dozen years faces extinction. Carinda Larson can still remember when high school DECA - an association of marketing students - gave her sixth-grade class a presentation on smoking. "One of the girls was a basketball player," she said. "I looked up to her." This year, 17-year-old Larson was the presenter.
The New Year is days away. When the clock strikes midnight, resolutions will be made. If yours is to quit smoking in 2010, be warned. State budget cuts have depleted the resources available to kick the habit. June Farkas, a college health nurse at the Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College-Superior, fights smoking in Douglas County with mints, information and a positive attitude. Students approach her weekly looking for help to quit. "I just want them to be well and I want to help them," Farkas said.
Joey cocked his head, big ears alert, waiting for a treat and a pat from Rhonda Richey last week. The canine's brother, Turner, ambled through the snowy parking lot wearing warm black booties striped with blue purchased by Marni Lind. Shamu, a black and white kitten, purred as it snuggled in the arms of Dr. Bob McClellan. These three animals had a rough start in life. Neglected, abandoned, injured, they could very well have become statistics.
Christine Hoberg has always reached for the stars. So it didn't surprise those who knew her that the 2004 Superior High School alum packed her bags for New York City to pursue a career in music. "I always knew she was a go-getter," said Susan Hawkinson of Superior, whose daughter Laura is one of Hoberg's closest friends. Except for two brief lapses where she considered a career as a nun or an astronaut, Hoberg's passion has been music.
Homelessness doesn't end at the outskirts of Superior. Neither does the need for food, toys or a Merry Christmas. That is the message Jack Haskins plans to deliver with a "Seasons of Giving Overnight Food Drive" from Friday to Saturday. "Times are rough right now," said Haskins of Solon Springs. "I just wanted to help." He will be stoking up a bonfire and staying out in the cold for 24 hours to raise awareness and collect donations of food, money, toys, blankets and winter clothing. Although it was inspired by the annual sleep outs for the homeless put on by local chiropractor Dr.
Amanda Lumberg didn't need her helmet on the ice Saturday. Under the watchful eye of instructors, the 9-year-old learned an important skill for skaters. "They taught her how to fall first of all," said Amanda's mother, Deb. More than 100 Superior area Girl Scouts flocked to the ice at Wessman Arena to skate, chat and learn. The annual Girl Scout Skate was put on by the Superior Figure Skating Club. Play It Again Sports of Superior and Duluth provided skates for the girls at no cost. "This is awesome," said Mike Weinandt as he watched his daughter, Scout, glide onto the ice.
Northland residents can dust off their dancing shoes and pull that tux out of storage. The Center Against Sexual and Domestic Abuse is ringing in the New Year with a Dance to End Abuse, and everyone's invited. "The ball has officially rolled here for New Year's Eve," said Erika Leif, CASDA assistant director. "We're just very excited." The benefit fills a Northland void. For years, nearly 2,000 people gathered for the SMDC New Year's Eve Extravaganza at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center.
Once a year, Arthur Gil de Lamadrid plays Santa. No one sits on his knee; no pictures are taken. The lead fire inspector for the Superior Fire Department doesn't even don the red suit and beard. But for two days, he and fellow volunteers make Christmas wishes come true through the Toys for Tots program. "Deep down I really enjoy it," said Gil de Lamadrid, who co-chairs the program with fellow firefighter Les Luder.
With a marketing splash, the versatile Seasnake was introduced to Superior officials and members of the transportation community last week. The concept ship works like a train on water, with a forward traction unit, two to five detachable cargo barges and a powered "caboose." This articulated Seasnake has low draft and can be split into sections to pass through locks along the St. Lawrence Seaway. The barges - which can carry dry or wet bulk or containerized cargo - connect with a ball and socket system and utilize stabilizing bumpers. They can be individually delivered into most harbors.