The economics of dignity, how a tiered economy tears us apart

To read the local papers, a visitor might conclude that the biggest problems facing the Iron Range these days is whether or not we support our most powerful industry *enough.* I find this curious. Because when people talk about “the problem on the Range these days,” they usually mean people working multiple jobs to pay… Read More →

A ‘moving’ Great Northern Radio Show from Hibbing

Just over a week ago I hosted another episode of my Great Northern Radio Show on Northern Community Radio. We broadcast live from Hibbing Community College in Hibbing, Minnesota, on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, the same site of our first show six years earlier. And it was a blast. Arguably our best engineered show ever,… Read More →

Talking journalism on ‘Dig Deep’

Last week Northern Community Radio broadcast another series of episodes of “Dig Deep,” a podcast exploring contemporary issues from unique points of view. The show features Chuck Marohn of Strong Towns, a conservative, and yours truly, a known liberal. We attempt to collaborate on solutions and sticking points in current political issues, rather than just… Read More →

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 →

Hibbing homecoming for Great Northern Radio Show

This Saturday, Oct. 14, my Great Northern Radio Show broadcasts live from the Hibbing Community College Theater from 5-7 p.m. on Northern Community Radio. This is a “home” show for me, our first time back to the place where we broadcast the Great Northern Radio Show pilot episode in 2011. (I wrote more about the… Read More →

The pasty, perfect food above ground or below

Minnesota’s Iron Range gets plenty of attention for its ethnic foods. Melting pot. Immigrants. Grandma’s kitchen. Yada yada. But you’ve got to reckon with the fact that it’s a lot easier to nosh on a can of pizza-flavored Pringles at the gas station than it is to get your hands on some halfway decent krumkaka…. Read More →

Great Northern Radio Show returns to Hibbing Oct. 14

On Saturday, Oct. 14, I bring my Great Northern Radio Show back to the site of our first broadcast. This show at Hibbing Community College represents our sixth anniversary of doing live radio variety shows from small towns and forgotten places around Minnesota. We’ve got a lot to talk about in Hibbing. The mine is… Read More →

Iron Range STEM showcase Friday, Oct. 6

This Friday, Oct. 6, the Iron Range STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Showcase will again welcome area 6th graders and the general public to explore concepts and careers in science. First, during the school day, more than 2,000 sixth graders from 28 northeastern Minnesota schools will take part in more than 60 interactive activities… Read More →

Moving mountains for an Iron Range future

Soon the Hull Rust Mine View in historic North Hibbing will be closed for good, set to reopen next year at a new location to the east. Shortly thereafter Hibbing Taconite will blow to bits the very mountain of taconite on which the viewing stand sits to send the iron ore on its way to… Read More →

100 years later, the Power of stories

Lately I’ve been imagining the cadence of Victor Power’s overshoes across the sidewalks of North Hibbing in 1915, the boom of his voice across the street to the people he knew. I’ve been picturing the smooth motion of his oratory gestures, the quick, sly smile that set him apart from other politicians. We can’t hear… Read More →