Arts shape our lives, our economy

When you hear the word “arts,” or especially its fancier cousin, “THE arts” we tend to think of snobs sniffing wine in front of a large drab painting. When I think about it, however, the word conjures a string of memories. Acting in my first play during 9th Grade at the Cherry School. The time… Read More →

Candidates mull suddenly wide open MN-8 race

UPDATE: I’ve created a special MN-8 page to provide up-to-date coverage of this race. Amid Friday’s stunning news that Rick Nolan would retire from Congress, we now try to sort out who else might run now that the seat is wide open. Of course, we know that DFLer Leah Phifer was already challenging Nolan for… Read More →

Rick Nolan to retire from Congress leaving MN-8 wide open

U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan (D-MN8) announced this morning he will retire from Congress at the end of his current term. This leaves a wide open race for one of the most closely contested seats in the United States House of Representatives. Several news outlets reported the news this morning. Nolan, 74, has represented Northern Minnesota… Read More →

March 3 Great Northern Radio Show set for Bemidji

Hello, reader. It’s been a while since I’ve checked in with you. Somehow I’ve managed to keep a brisk output of posts here at this year while still working on my other projects. That’s something to celebrate as I bring my Great Northern Radio Show to Bemidji State University on Saturday, March 3. My… Read More →

IP touts Sandman candidacy in MN-8

Much has already been made of the contentious race in Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District. But it bears mentioning we’re still only in the first act of a long play that will feature an appearance by Ray “Skip” Sandman on the Independence Party ticket in November. The IP issued a statement Wednesday welcoming former Green Party… Read More →

Key takeaways from 2018 straw polls, precinct caucuses

Last night I joined a relatively small group of Minnesotans in attending my local party precinct caucus. I caucus with the Democratic-Farmer-Labor party, so we met at the Balsam Township Hall. The Republicans met in Grand Rapids at the middle school. Six people attended my caucus, including myself. I was prepared to remark that perhaps… Read More →

Trading steel and sun in a changing world

The sun above our heads and the steel that comprises our highways, buildings, cars and appliances might not seem like they have much in common. But there’s a powerful truth behind the sun. The final stage of a star’s life happens when nuclear fusion produces iron at its core, causing it to explode. At once,… Read More →

The hidden importance of Tuesday’s precinct caucuses

With the Super Bowl in the state’s collective rear view mirror, Tuesday night brings the biennial tradition of Minnesota’s precinct caucuses. And while it might seem a precipitous drop-off in excitement, this year’s caucuses offer real world implications. Precinct caucuses are a strange quirk of this moralistic state that once placed tremendous value on grassroots… Read More →

Resiliency: the skill we all need to survive

Every living thing around us knows resilience. The snow-speckled maple out our window went dormant for the long cold winter, ready to release sap and resume life come spring. The chickadee stands on thin, nearly bloodless legs, all so these spritely little birds may flit among the branches no matter how cold the air. The… Read More →

200 miles north of the Super Bowl

The fighter jets patrolling the skies above Super Bowl LII also maneuver above my home 200 miles north of Minneapolis. Roaring ghosts chasing the horizon. I think this is where they turn around or refuel. Safe. Remote. Nothing down here but trees, lakes and us. In this way living 200 miles from the Super Bowl… Read More →