A summer storm brings peace

We live in times of constant stress and outrage. The ubiquity of media means that anyone from a kindergartner to a retiree can feel the weight of the world on their shoulders. Last Thursday, we had a summer storm blow through Balsam Township. Not the worst we’ve seen, but a real whipper. A healthy basswood… Read More →

Road deconstruction season in northern Minnesota

People seem testy this summer. Is it the news? The local economy? Or is it because our drive to work has become infested with dump trucks and the oily smell of steaming asphalt. It’s road construction season. Nothing unusual there. In Northern Minnesota, summer stands as the only time for street, road and highway work…. Read More →

Former Magnetation brass buy Canadian iron mine

Tacora Resources, Inc., a newly formed mining company based in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, just acquired the assets to the Scully Mine in Wabush, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Cliffs Natural Resources closed the Scully Mine in 2014. The company left behind unfunded pensions and considerable animosity among the rural population of this small town in Labrador…. Read More →

On Victor Power and my big project

In this post I will explain why I’m going to be blogging less in the foreseeable future. Still blogging and writing, just less that you’ll see … for now. Stay tuned as I explain. In my job as a college public speaking instructor I teach principles of persuasion. I cite the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle… Read More →

Iron Range hope more vital than nostalgia

On the Mesabi Iron Range, our society rests upon the achievements of this region’s fading youth. We speak of our ancestors’ hungry demand for better working conditions and pay. We memorialize their desire to build schools and small towns to elevate humans from the morass. Yes, we call this history and print it on our… Read More →

Northern MN Trumpism endures for lack of alternative

Every time President Trump tweets his distinctive brand of authoritarian chaos the world broils in consternation. The world maybe, but not most folks in the back woods of Northern Minnesota. In fact, ignoring Trump’s tweets (and all tweets, generally speaking) comes naturally out here. If you didn’t care about Russia, Trump’s erratic personal behavior, or… Read More →

Republican Pete Stauber to run for Congress in MN-8

(Post updated Monday, July 10) On Monday, St. Louis County Commissioner Pete Stauber of Hermantown announces a run for Congress in Northeastern Minnesota’s Eighth District. He becomes the first Republican challenger to incumbent U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan (DFL-Crosby) for the 2018 cycle. Stauber, a one-time West Duluth hockey star and longtime Duluth police officer, has… Read More →

The generational trials of an ‘Xennial’ life

Generational labels, such as baby boomer or millennial, can mislead. Nevertheless, they identify common experiences shared by people your age. Consider the living generations today. The “Greatest” generation grew up during the Depression. They fought WWII and the Korean War and wore high waisted pants and hats that I envy. The Baby Boomers, born 1945-1965,… Read More →

Itasca County A-OK with ATVs along most county roads

Starting July 15, Itasca County will allow all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) to drive on the right-of-ways along county roads. The Grand Rapids Herald-Review reported the county board action in a June 28 story. The ordinance comes after a long debate within county government. Some see danger allowing ATVs so close to active traffic. Others see merits…. Read More →

Scandinavian power in Minnesota politics

The Fourth of July is a big deal in Minnesota’s Iron Range region. Really big. Even the smallest towns here throw a parade or fireworks celebration. See, Northern Minnesota exemplified the quintessential “melting pot” of American industrialization and immigrants. July 4 became not just something to celebrate, but a shared cultural experience that brought together… Read More →