Watts News
 Published for the members of North Itasca Electric Cooperative
VOL. 17 NO. 11  -  November 2014

Cold Weather Rule Notification   |   Energy Assistance Programs

Co-op Connections Business Profile

Dun-Rite Cabinetry and Construction 

by Sally Sedgwick

When Lyle Wallentine and his wife Kathryn owned Dixon Lake Resort, Lyle would visit his neighbor Dick Levasseur to help with projects in his wood shop.

Working with wood became a hobby as he learned more about cabinet making – and when the couple sold the resort to build their own Deltec dome home seven years ago, it became a career. A separate building on their property now houses the workshop area for Dun-Rite Cabinetry and Construction.

More than a trade, working with wood is an art. Knowing how a machine in the shop works with and shapes different woods, explained Lyle, can influence the appearance of the final product. Hickory, for instance, is harder than oak, but also more brittle.


NRECA hears you loud and clear...will the EPA? 

by Jared Echternach, CEO

One million.

That’s how many comments have been submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency from electric co-op members and allies regarding the agency’s proposed rule 111(d) related to the regulation of carbon emissions from existing power plants. If you have submitted comments on this important issue, thank you for doing so.

The arbitrary and strict rules, if enacted, will affect the power plants on which we rely every day for affordable electricity, especially the ones that use coal. Mostly, we’re concerned how much these rules will increase your electric bill.


“People’s Tree” to visit 30 communities on way to Washington, D.C. 

Capitol Christmas Tree to Visit Marcell

For the past 50 years, a beautiful tree has appeared on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. during the holiday season. The U.S. Forest Service, in partnership with Choose Outdoors and the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, will bring this special gift from Minnesota to Washington, D.C. for the 2014 season, involving nearly 30 communities along the way, including an appearance in Marcell on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 11:30 a.m to 12:30 p.m., at the Marcell Family Center.

The tree was cut during a public ceremony Wednesday, Oct. 29 and then moved to Bemidji State University, where it will be prepared for the nearly 2,000-mile cross-country expedition. With great fanfare, the tree – a whopping 80-foot plus white spruce – will leave the Chippewa National Forest followed by a caravan of caretakers for the journey to the U.S. Capitol, where the official tree lighting will take place in early December.


Hunter's Suppers 

Friday, November 7

Jesse Lake Lutheran Church
Location: Highway 4, 2 miles west of Talmoon
Time: 4-7 p.m.
Cost: Adults, $14; children 6-12, $6: take out available
Menu: Lutefisk, Swedish meat balls and lefsa
Also: Raffle: Split the Pot

Mustang Volleyball fundraiser
Location: Kootasca Senior Center in Northome
Time: 4:30 p.m. until it's gone
Cost: Free will donation
Menu: Meat balls, mashed potatoes and gravy, cole slaw, desserts, bars


Great Northern Transmission Line Hearing 

by Sally Sedgwick

A hearing on the Great Northern Transmission Line Certificate of Need was held in mid October at the Edge Center in Bigfork before Administrative Law Judge Ann O’Reilly.

It was an opportunity for local residents to enter comments into the record which will be reviewed by Judge O’Reilly before making a recommendation to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, expected in March 2015.

The Office of Administrative Hearings provides an independent venue from any of the parties, the Department of Commerce or the PUC, and although it is called a recommendation, Judge O’Reilly explained that it carries weight in the final decision.


RoundUp® Grants Awarded 

North Itasca Electric Community Trust Board awarded 53 grants to community organizations in its October grant meeting.

The Trust Board meets twice a year to distribute donations that come from members who round up their bills each month to the next dollar and contribute the cents toward a fund that supports local community initiatives. In this grant cycle almost $12,700 in RoundUp dollars were made available to area projects.


November 2014 Calendar of Events 

1 Through Nov. 29 at the Edge Center Gallery: fish stamping by artist Stuart Nelson. The Edge Center is adjacent to the Bigfork School and is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Thursday.
3 No school, Deer River, Bigfork, Blackduck schools.
4 Election day
4 Christmas Tree for the U.S. Capitol will be at the Marcell Family Center for a program from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Presentations, crafts, refreshments, naturalist program, more. The tree will also be at Blackduck School, 8:30-10 a.m. and Deer River School, 2-4 p.m.
6 Storytelling at Marcell Town Hall, 2-4 p.m. Marcell Town Hall. Subject: "Small world stories and coincidences." Coffee and treats served.
7,8 Hunters' Suppers