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Grand Marais 5th Grader Earns Honorable Mention in Statewide Essay Contest

On Valentine’s Day, The League of Minneso­ta Cities recognized eight students from across the state who participated in its 11th annual “Mayor For A Day” essay compe­tition.

Charlotte (Charlie) Hausnner, a Grand Mara­is fifth grader, received an honorable mention. Her essay focused on a resi­dence based pickup pro­gram for recycling.

Charlotte attends Great Expectations School in Grand Marais. She is the daughter of Emily and Tim (Timmy Haus) Haus­nner.

Emily said the family was on an extended vaca­tion in the South Pacific in January and saw that Charlie was recognized when they checked their email. “When she found out she had won Hon­orable Mention for her award, she was thrilled and surprised,” Emily said.

Charlie said, “I think I won because people didn’t realize that recy­cling was such a hassle in this place where people come to enjoy nature, and they (The League) wanted to call attention to it.”

“We are really proud of Charlie for entering the essay contest and being passionate about caring for her environment,” Emily said.

The League of Minne­sota Cities is a member­ship association dedicated to promoting excellence in local government. A Board of Directors of lo­cally elected and appointed city officials governs it. It serves more than 800 member cities through ad­vocacy, education, train­ing, policy development, risk management, and other services.

Each year, the League invites students in grades 4-6 to submit an essay about how to improve city services where they live.

In its press release an­nouncing the results, the League wrote, “The League hosts this annual essay competition to raise awareness of city services that are part of our daily lives and to inspire the next generation of city leaders.”

Charlotte Haussner’s Mayor for a Day Essay

Have you ever wished that you could recycle more? If I were mayor for a day, I would try to improve one thing about our city: I would improve recycling. We don’t have an easy way for people to recycle so many people just throw it away. I want to improve it because a lot of people put their recycling in their garbage cans, which is not only bad for humans, but also very bad for the en­vironment. I think that when we recycle, we are prevent­ing harm to nature.

In our area, people have to drive many miles into town to do their recycling, and some people don’t have the ability to get to the recycling center. I would improve the recycling by setting up a pro­gram to pick up the recycling from house to house, maybe not to pick up every week, but once or twice a month just to start. Once we have more people participating, they could pick it up once a week. Everyone who wants their recycling to be picked up has to pay a small fee. I think many people would want this service and would be willing to pay for it.

In conclusion, I think that a pick-up recycling program improvement would help the people of Grand Marais and the whole area participate more in recycling, which is good for the environment and really important to me.

Steve Fernlund
Steve Fernlund
Typically these “about me” pages include a list of academic achievements (I have none) and positions held (I have had many, but who really cares about those?) So, in the words of the late Admiral James Stockwell, “Who am I? Why am I here?” I’m well into my seventh decade on this blue planet we call home. I’m a pretty successful husband, father, and grandfather, at least in my humble opinion. My progeny may disagree. We have four children and five grandchildren. I spent most of my professional life in the freight business. At the tender age of 40, early retirement beckoned and we moved to Grand Marais. A year after we got here, we bought and operated the Cook County News Herald, a weekly newspaper in Grand Marais. A sharp learning curve for a dumb freight broker to become a newspaper editor and publisher. By 1999 the News Herald was an acquisition target for a rapidly consolidating media market. We sold our businesses and “retired” again, buying a winter retreat in Nevada. In the fall of 2016, we returned to Grand Marais and bought a house from old friends of ours on the ridge overlooking Lake Superior. They were able to move closer to family and their Mexico winter home. And we came home to what we say is our last house. I’m a strong believer in the value of local newspapers--both online and those you can wrap a fish in. I write a weekly column and a couple of feature stories for the Northshore Journal. I’m most interested in writing about the everyday lives of local people and reporting on issues of importance to them.
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