Watts News
 Published for the members of North Itasca Electric Cooperative
VOL. 20 NO. 7  -  July 2017

Bringing Back the American Elm  

by Sally Sedgwick

Find a tree that can grow in a variety of soils – even in an acidic soil with a pH 5 or a coal reclamation site. Find it in cities or woodlands, and from Florida to North Dakota.

You’ve found the American elm.

But in 1930, the American elm met its match. The Dutch Elm Disease (DED) fungus arrived in this country, and by 1976 less than half of the American elm that lined urban streets remained.


CEO Report  

by Dan Hoskins, Interim CEO

Howdy, I hope all of you had a pretty good spring and are looking forward to summer which, I might add, began the 21st of June. Now with that said, summer as you all know is not only a time for picnics, camping, boating, fishing, golfing, cook-outs and whatever else you would like to do, but it’s also the time Mother Nature raises her head a bit as well. Actually, she sometimes really raises a fuss and creates all kinds of havoc for our electrical system, causing additional work and danger for our line crews.

Last year alone, we had numerous outages created by Mother Nature and when that happens, all sorts of stuff cause you and your Cooperative lots of money!! She may throw a bunch of lightning bolts around and eventually, one or more of them will strike some part of our system and that type of electricity is way more powerful than what we send up and down our lines. So, when her little electric spark hits one of our poles, it will create a blink in the lights, or even worse, knock the power out and damage our equipment or lines.


Hen House and Piccadilly: antiques, garden & gifts  

by Sally Sedgwick

It’s a small village tucked away in the woods 8 miles south of Bigfork on Scenic Highway 7.

There’s a Hen House, a Bird House, a Garden House and two displays tucked under cupolas rescued from the old Aurora School. There is “rusty art” - vintage farm equipment that support displays of garden items and many varieties of hosta for sale.

Called the Hen House, the unusual venue for an antique/gift shop is the inspiration of Kim Breiwick and her husband Tom. The Hen House was originally a bunkhouse built by Tom for his children. The Garden House was once a stable.


Generator sizing and safety  

by Jerry Loney

Generators come in various shapes and sizes, they can be freestanding in the yard, wheeled out of the garage, or even connected to a farm tractor’s PTO system. But they all have the same function: producing electricity. A responsibility which comes with their use is safety - safety not only for the home owner, but for the linemen working on the lines as well. Installing a transfer switch is a must when connecting to your home’s electrical system. If not connected properly, the 240 volt current produced by your generator can back-feed through the transformer, kicking the voltage up to 7600 volts which is more than enough to kill a lineman making repairs.

Transfer switches are designed to prevent the possibility of back-feeding during outage restoration. The switch disconnects power lines from the utility and connects the home’s electrical panel to the temporary generator. rerouting current away from the main power supply (distribution line) and places it into the same electrical panel used for supplying the household needs in accordance with the size of the generator connected. These switches are mostly manually operated, but automatic generators start themselves when the power goes out, automatically switching from utility power lines to the generator’s supply line. When utility power is restored, this transfer switch automatically reroutes the source of electricity back to the utility lines, turning off the generator.


2017 Annual Meeting  

The North Itasca Electric Cooperative 2017 annual meeting was held at Northome School on Saturday, June 10.

Members were able to enjoy a breakfast catered by Teener Swang and served by the line crew and Future Farmers of America students from Deer River High School. There were activities for the whole family, including rides in a bucket truck, blood pressure checks by Pat Hill of the Squaw Lake First Responders, and interactive displays on electrical safety and lighting options.

Those who tried out the GRE energy bike were able to actually feel the difference in energy use between incandescent, LED and CFL bulbs. Attached to a generator, pedaling the bike would light up one to four of each kind of bulb. A slow pedal would light up four LED bulbs, but a fast pedal might only light one of the incandescent. Before the meeting, members were entertained by the Grand Rapids Area Male Chorus.


Festival, Rodeo, Expo in July  

There are lots of area events in July! All events will be held rain or shine.

Bigfork Valley Health Expo
Saturday, July 15, 1-4 p.m.
The Health Expo includes activities, displays, workshops and healthy living resources for all ages plus the famous root beer floats. Northern Orthotics and Prosthetics will be awarding a kayak to a lucky winner! There will be a Pickleball demonstration all afternoon with a chance to try it out. Come see the North Memorial Air Ambulance (weather and emergencies permitting) and operate and/or recharge a fire extinguisher. Visit Facebook.com/bigforkvalley for more information.

Woodcarvers Festival and Blackduck Arts & Crafts Show
Saturday, July 29
The Blackduck Woodcarvers Festival will be held at Wayside Park on Saturday, July 29 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. There are woodworkers and craftsmen exhibiting from around the country at the festival. Across the street, the annual Arts & Crafts Fair will feature handcrafted area productsMore information at Blackduckmn.com or Facebook.com/blackduck365.


July 2017 Calendar of Events 

Edge Center Gallery, Bigfork hosts the 13th Annual Juried Exhibition 29-Jul 29. Awards Reception June 30, 5-7 p.m. Vote for People’s Choice Jun 29-30. Edge Gallery is open Thurs.-Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Independence Day. North Itasca Electric headquarter offices CLOSED.
6 Storytelling at Marcell Town Hall building, 6:30 p.m. Subject: “How has modern electronics affected our lives?” Coffee and treats served, everyone welcome.
7-9 Deer River Lions host the 69th Annual Wild Rice Festival. July 7: Pow Wow, live music by The Great Outdoors; July 8: Wild Rice Run, medallion hunt, bike rodeo, fireworks, live music with the Dweebs; July 9: parade 1 p.m., kiddie tractor pull, Lee Roy Parnell. See wildricefestival.com
8 Riley’s 11th annual Pig-Eye Memorial Scramble, 9 a.m. Blueberry Hills Golf Course. Teams up to 5 person, $30/person. Call Jon, (218) 832-3656.
8 Evergreen Friendship Club meets at Sand Lake Community Center, 5 p.m.
10 Women of the Woods meet at 10 a.m. at Sand Lake Community Center. Call Pat Sievertson at 659-2157 or Marlys Maki at 659-2901.
10 Deer River ISD 317 School Board, DRHS Media Center, 6 p.m. Public forum 5:45
10 Blackduck ISD 32 School Board meets, Media Center, 7 p.m.
10 ISD 318 School Board, Bigfork School by telepresence, 7 p.m. Public forum, 6:30 p.m.
10 VFW meets in Bigfork second Monday at 7 p.m.