Proposition 54, where are you?

Last Saturday, the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor party central committee voted down Proposition 54, a controversial resolution that would have placed the party in opposition to sulfide ore mining. Now, an aside. I earnestly considered whether or not to headline this post about a failed DFL resolution with pun that relates to a black-and-white TV comedy that aired before I was… Read More →

Help on the way for St. Louis County workers

County government is probably the most overlooked part of our democracy, and yet in Minnesota it’s the point of contact for the people who need the most help. This includes the messy work of law enforcement, child protection and family welfare, social services and the very apparatus of humane treatment of our citizens. When county government… Read More →

‘Today Show’ highlights BWCA, mining debate

The debate over copper/nickel mining in Northern Minnesota reached national news this morning. The weekend edition of NBC’s “Today Show” profiled Dave and Amy Freeman. This Ely and Grand Marais couple have been living in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness for more than 300 days. The Freemans started their year in the BWCA to… Read More →

Ely’s State Theater to relight iconic marquee

The towns of the Iron Range stretch along a 135 mile line, each at one time a shining beacon of what a bustling industrial city would look like if it were instead a network of small towns. Like the fortunes of a Rust Belt city, the small towns of the Iron Range have mostly suffered… Read More →

Loggers, classic cars and blueberries, oh my!

We now wind into the “flurry of activity before we realize the leaves are already changing” part of our Northern Minnesota summer. It’s hot and time moves fast. On the western Mesabi, Grand Rapids holds its annual Weekend of Wheels car show and swap meet, an event I always find preferable to the county fairs. My… Read More →

Tuesday is last chance to file for many offices

Tuesday, May 31, brings the last day to file for local, state and federal offices in Minnesota. While there are some interesting legislative and county races shaping up across Northern Minnesota in 2016 (I’ll have more on those Wednesday), something else stood out to me. City council races on the Iron Range are fairly quiet. In… Read More →

Dayton faces criticism, stands ground on Range

Gov. Mark Dayton was on the Iron Range Friday defending his decision to deny permission for Twin Metals to drill on public lands near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Technically, there were two meetings, both held at the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) headquarters in Eveleth. The Range Association of Municipalities and Schools (RAMS)… Read More →

Ely pitches new Electric Paddle

I don’t know what it is about April 1 in Ely, Minnesota, but it always seems like strange news emerges from this hub of the Vermilion Iron Range and gateway to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area on this date. Today, officials in Ely took to the wires to tout the brand new Ely Electric Paddle. Last year… Read More →

Dayton coming North, definitely not a vacation

The Mesabi Daily News reports this morning that Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton will make public appearances in Eveleth on Friday. The governor will talk to local officials and the public about his recent decision to block new drilling on public lands for the Twin Metals project, a controversial copper nickel mining proposal near Ely. Gov…. Read More →

Dayton vows no state land for Twin Metals

On Monday, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton took a stand against allowing Twin Metals to access public land for its proposed copper nickel mine near Ely and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. From Gov. Dayton’s letter: I have grave concerns about the use of state surface lands for mining related activities in close proximity to the Boundary… Read More →