The Hunt for Bob October

All this brisk autumn air reminds me of the first time I saw Bob Dylan perform at the DECC in Duluth on October 22, 1998. The show was an elaborate excuse for me to see my girlfriend from Hibbing after I had moved away from the Iron Range for college. She wasn’t as much of… Read More →

Leah Phifer announces DFL challenge in MN-8

This summer, national security analyst Leah Phifer of Isanti drove more than 7,000 miles of Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District on her motorcycle to meet voters and decide if she should run for Congress. Today, Phifer announced she would seek the DFL endorsement for the MN-8 seat, challenging incumbent U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan of Crosby. Though… 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 →

The high cost of inaction on rural broadband

Longtime readers know my position on rural broadband. In short, I view it as one important part of blended strategy to diversify the economy of Northern Minnesota. To extend the fastest and highest capacity delivery system would mean more fiber optic lines buried underground. This is the most obvious and also the most expensive way… Read More →

Minnesota bug clouds tripping radar balls?

Here in Northern Minnesota, the deer flies are always bad this time of year. They’re worse this year. Everybody’s talking about deer flies. And they may have even showed up on radar. But first, some thoughts about radar. Every day I pass by the Nashwauk Radar Ball, a mysterious white orb overlooking Highway 65 north… 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 →

MN Power’s natural gas plant shows changing industry

Last week, Minnesota Power announced it would build a new natural gas power plant in Superior with Wisconsin-based Dairyland Power Cooperative as a partner. From a Brooks Johnson story in the Duluth News Tribune: “It’s really about giving customers affordable, reliable, less carbon-intensive energy,” Julie Pierce, Minnesota Power vice president of strategy and planning, told the… Read More →

Journalists should be ashamed of delicious Doritos™ air drop

ID: Hey, ego! Did you see that they’ll be dropping Doritos™ Heat Wave chips over the city of Duluth at noon today? All the TV stations promoted it on the news! You should blog about that. EGO: Yes, but I can’t report that. It’s just a free ad for Doritos. ID: Doritos™ — and what’s… Read More →

Duluth-Superior Film Festival opens today

Summer movie season has arrived, and if you’re like me you’ve noticed a sea of derivative retreads slated for our cinema multiplexes. “Blah Blah IV.” “Blah Blah: The Remake.” “Blah Blah: Based on the Popular Video Game.” The film industry has always balanced its urge for creativity with its need for money. It seems money… Read More →

There be titanium dioxide in them thar’ hills

If you’ve never heard of titanium dioxide, you’d qualify as normal. But you’ve probably used white paint, eaten red candy, or applied sunscreen before. All of those products use titanium dioxide. So do plastics and some electronics. The stuff sells at $3,200 per metric ton. Today, researchers release a report showing that the Iron Range region could… Read More →