Iron Range DFL legislative primary pits Lislegard against Hainey

With so many races in the 2018 Minnesota primary, I’ve not spent much time analyzing the only legislative primary on the Mesabi Iron Range. It’s an interesting contest that will test some of my earlier theories about Iron Range politics in a new more volatile electoral environment. DFLers in House District 6B head to the… Read More →

Niskanen brings Stanley Cup home on the Range

I was talking to a friend this weekend. He told me that he watched a hockey game earlier that day. Hockey, I said. It’s July. But I caught myself. Of course they’re playing hockey in July. It’s Minnesota. Right now thousands of minivans criss-cross our verdant summer landscape. Each vessel aims for a parking lot… Read More →

Finland’s whitetail deer have Iron Range roots

Finnish-Americans gave Northern Minnesota saunas, labor activism and light switches that are on the outside of the room for some reason. But few here know they also gave the “old country” more whitetail deer than they can shoot. Right now about 100,000 whitetail deer roam the Finnish countryside. In 1934, that number was a cold,… Read More →

Summer 2018 brings color to Range communities

I drive through Nashwauk, Minnesota, most days. It’s a nice little town, but a little worn down. That’s not unusual for the cities of the western Mesabi Iron Range. These boom towns bloomed in a white pine wilderness a century ago, each at the mouth of a specific iron mine. Now that mining is more… Read More →

The dislocated workers we choose to ignore

NEWS FLASH: Officials today announced the shutdown of a major taconite mine on the Mesabi Iron Range. More than 700 workers will lose their jobs in the midst of an uncertain future for their industry. Here on the Iron Range, stories like this get our attention. We’ve been through them before. Everyone knows what to… Read More →

Open legislative seat spurs Iron Range DFL primary

We sense many disturbances in the 2018 Iron Range political force. (Apologies. It is May the Fourth after all). Setting aside the roaming Death Star of Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District race, the Mesabi Iron Range also stumbled into an open legislative seat in District 6B. Current State Rep. Jason Metsa is running for the aforementioned… Read More →

Busting trusts in the 21st Century

When Hibbing mayor Victor Power took the stage at a Minneapolis Labor Day rally in 1915, he lambasted the powerful steel trust for its abuses of working people. Every person in the sprawling crowd knew he was talking about U.S. Steel. Then the world’s largest corporation, the massive reach of U.S. Steel controlled the wages… Read More →

Tooth in Advertising: program attracts dentists to Range

I’ve got decent insurance now, so my three kids could go to the dentist starting at an early age. That wasn’t the case for my parents. But when it came time for my boys to go to the dentist, we still had a hard time getting them in. My lifelong dentist wasn’t accepting new patients,… Read More →

The sound of footsteps in an empty mall

I like to walk. My “five miles or more per day” habit is about all that’s keeping me out of the Big and Tall stores these days. (And I ain’t getting any taller). Walking is probably the only good habit I’ve ever had. So when I had an odd free moment the other day I… Read More →

Hainey to run for Iron Range State House seat

With State Rep. Jason Metsa running for Congress, his vacated House 6B seat becomes an interesting undercard in the impending Iron Range political scrum of 2018. Today, the first DFL candidate announced his candidacy. Shaun Hainey, an employee in the St. Louis County assessor’s office, is a hobby farmer and union member from Pike Township… Read More →