Summer’s labor lost

This was the summer that never happened. Oh, sure, the sun warmed our backs. The days stretched long. We ate a watermelon and dipped our toes in the lake. The summer “happened”; we just weren’t *relaxed* for more than a few hours of it. It was like waiting for a repairman to arrive at any… Read More →

A Day in the Life of Biwabik

The Mesabi Iron Range city of Biwabik is making a bid for Minnesota Monthly’s “Best Minnesota Town” next month. Videographer Kim Sampson assembled this short film “A Day in the Life of Biwabik” for the occasion. Several Iron Range photographers contributed their work to the project. I think it’s a rich, sweet visual depiction of… Read More →

Iron Range ore to play big role in #Harvey recovery

By now we are familiar with the widespread devastation of Hurricane Harvey and the following tropical storm and torrential rain. It’s the single biggest rain event in the history of the contiguous United States. We may yet only guess at the totality of the storm’s terrible effect on the people of Houston, their property, and… Read More →

New laws may block language counselors at Concordia

The director of the Concordia Language Villages program warns that new immigration and visa laws could dramatically impact its language and cultural immersion program located on a complex near Bemdiji, Minnesota. “There has been a very significant development over the weekend regarding our J-1 Camp Counselor Exchange Visa, writes Christine Schulze in a letter posted… Read More →

Nourishing new roots on the Iron Range

I found myself pacing through an Iron Range cemetery the other day, looking for a particular stiff. On my grim patrol I realized that the graveyard was laid out according to national origin. Eastern Europeans and Italians, Swedes and Norwegians, Germans and Irish could all be found in separate sections, at least until the 1940s… Read More →

Good girl, Daisy

People blame many problems on the internet. Email scams. A lack of civility in political discourse. Naughty naked people and bad medical advice. But for me the biggest way the internet affected my life is the fact that my wife Christina can view dogs available for adoption anywhere in the country, all day long. She… Read More →

State Senator named director of Lake Superior Zoo

Soon, State Sen. Erik Simonson will tame ravenous beasts, feed ferocious predators, and see that no harm befalls innocent tour groups. And then when he comes home to Duluth he’ll run a zoo. Simonson, a Duluth Democratic-Farmer-Laborite, was named the executive director of the Lake Superior Zoo today. He will accept early retirement from his… Read More →

Survey to spur high speed internet across Iron Range

I have fiber optic internet service direct to my home in rural Itasca County. Why? Enough of my neighbors filled out a survey and kept pressure on local leaders to get our area added to broadband expansion projects by Paul Bunyan Communication. Residents of the east central Iron Range will now have the same opportunity…. Read More →

Talking class division on ‘Dig Deep’

When I was 24 and attending grad school, I watched every episode of Donald Trump’s first season of “The Apprentice.” The show was on during one of the few nights of the week that my wife and I could watch TV together. We watched every episode in real time, pre-DVR. The act wore thin in… Read More →

Unwanted fish ready for the ‘gauntlet’

ANNOUNCER: … in other news, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced its plan to block the advance of invasive Asian carp through the locks and dams of American rivers to the Great Lakes. The plan combines new lock engineering, complex noise, water jets, and electric barriers to turn back the carp. The scheme also… Read More →