Tune in for Dig Deep live call-in show

The Northern Community Radio political podcast “Dig Deep” will hold a live broadcast call in show Monday morning at 8:10. The podcast features Chuck Marohn of Strong Towns and myself. Heidi Holtan produces the show. Chuck represents the conservative perspective while I represent the liberal point of view. That said, our show is less about… Read More →

Great Northern Radio Show returns to Reif Center in Grand Rapids June 22

You might have noticed it’s been quiet at the blog these days. Regular readers can probably guess why. I’m busy with the book (more on that to come) and the radio show. Today I announce the next Great Northern Radio Show. I produce this live variety program for Northern Community Radio. The show will happen… Read More →

The think piece on Dorothy’s ruby slippers you didn’t know you needed

The iconic film “The Wizard of Oz” is 80 years old. It’s such a cultural touchstone that at least five generations have now seen it so many times that they know the lines. And like “The Wizard of Oz,” we’ve well repeated the story of how a pair of costume ruby slippers worn by the… Read More →

Why livability is key to Northern Minnesota strategy

The Iron Range, all of Northern Minnesota, and most of rural America share many problems, while maintaining some unique ones. Nevertheless, we could all make good use of one potential solution: We need people. Our small towns and rural institutions were built for a certain number of people. Not a ton of people, but a… Read More →

Unloading baggage aboard the Wienermobile

Thirty years ago I was in second grade at the old Forbes Elementary school on St. Louis County Highway 7. My family ran a junkyard out of a trailer house in Zim, Minnesota. That year I won the Weekly Reader National Invention contest. My winning invention was a set of seat belt covers. Colorful pictures… Read More →

Trivia battle offers game show thrills

I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with game shows. On one hand, I like believing that I’m smarter than people on TV. That’s really the only bar to clear to stay happy in modern society. You just have to stay off those brainiac channels like PBS or Animal Planet. On the other hand, game shows… Read More →

Northern Minnesota’s legislative linchpins

One of the prevailing trends during the Trump Administration is the ease with which we ignore other politicians or, really, political topics of any substance. For instance, two years ago I was the campaign manager for a DFL incumbent in a critical rural swing race in the Minnesota House of Representatives. We lost. Two years… Read More →

Great Minds trivia battle coming up soon

On Tuesday, Oct. 16, Great Minds Learning Center holds its second annual trivia battle fundraiser and silent auction at the Blandin Foundation in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. I host the event as your B-List celebrity quizmaster. The silent auction runs from 5-7 p.m. The quiz battle starts at 6 p.m. The winning team gets prizes. Everyone is… Read More →

DNR confirms Zebra mussels in Pokegama Lake chain

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources confirmed Monday it found invasive zebra mussels in the Blandin Reservoir along the Mississippi River near Grand Rapids. That means that several waters connected to the reservoir now enter the infested waters designation. They include: Lake Pokegama Jay Gould Lake Little Jay Gould Lake the Mississippi River from Lake… Read More →

Authorities recover Dorothy’s stolen ruby slippers

In 2005, someone stole a pair of ruby slippers worn in the 1939 classic film “The Wizard of Oz” from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. For the next thirteen years, Dorothy’s missing slippers became the subject of an exhaustive search that even included several dives into a nearby mine pit. Today, the… Read More →