The dark days of light

In winter, I turn my garden bean arch into a light arch. I run strings of white lights along each metal wire of the cattle panel. Then, when I am sad, I stand under the lights. This has been happening more often. After all, this is a sad season in sad times. I do not… Read More →

FARGO, Season 5, Episode 6: ‘The Tender Trap’

Northern Minnesota author Aaron J. Brown reviews each episode of “Fargo” with an eye for unique details from the place where the show is set. The ratings range from INTERESTING  (bad), to COULD BE WORSE (not so good) to PRETTY GOOD (not so bad), and OH, YA! (real good then). Beware the spoilers. The Tender… Read More →

The end of U.S. Steel and the triumph of the corporation

This morning we learned that Nippon Steel of Japan will purchase U.S. Steel for $14.9 billion as part of a deal approved by both companies’ boards over the weekend. My latest for the Minnesota Reformer explores the deal and its historic implications. U.S. Steel owns or has a stake in three mines on the Mesabi… Read More →

Rural EMS needs emergency policy solutions

Small towns and rural counties across the state face an emergency services crisis. Failure to solve the problem could leave rural people without timely access to advanced life support after accidents or medical incidents. On Nov. 25, I wrote about challenges facing the Nashwauk ambulance service in eastern Itasca County. In subsequent weeks, communities across… Read More →

FARGO, Season 5, Episode 5: ‘The Tiger’

Northern Minnesota author Aaron J. Brown reviews each episode of “Fargo” with an eye for unique details from the place where the show is set. The ratings range from INTERESTING  (bad), to COULD BE WORSE (not so good) to PRETTY GOOD (not so bad), and OH, YA! (real good then). Beware the spoilers. ‘The Tiger’… Read More →

The steel wheels of fortune spin again

Strange clouds hovered over Hibbing recently. From a distance, they looked like smoke or haze, but the phenomenon was actually dust blown off the dumps and tailings dams of Hibbing Taconite. Normally, mitigation prevents this from happening. But it was too cold to water anything and there was no snow to suppress the dust like… Read More →

The power dynamics at the root of Iron Range history

Last week, I gave a talk about race and power in the immigrant dynamic of the Mesabi Iron Range. It was a challenging topic, but I like to think I approached it in a non-dogmatic way.  I realized after it was done that I didn’t finish one of the stories I started in the Q&A…. Read More →

FARGO, Season 5, Episode 4: ‘Insolubilia’

Northern Minnesota author Aaron J. Brown reviews each episode of “Fargo” with an eye for unique details from the place where the show is set. The ratings range from INTERESTING  (bad), to COULD BE WORSE (not so good) to PRETTY GOOD (not so bad), and OH, YA! (real good then). Beware the spoilers. ‘Insolubilia’ (Original… Read More →

Range housing woes hit home

My kids aren’t kids anymore. In just a few years they’ll move out on their own. I remember the excitement of that time of life, but as a parent I’m struck by the enormous financial burdens they’ll face. In 1999, our first apartment rent in Hibbing was a little over $300 a month. You can’t… Read More →

FARGO, Season 5, Episode 3: ‘The Paradox of Intermediate Transactions’

Northern Minnesota author Aaron J. Brown reviews each episode of “Fargo” with an eye for unique details from the place where the show is set. The ratings range from INTERESTING  (bad), to COULD BE WORSE (not so good) to PRETTY GOOD (not so bad), and OH, YA! (real good then). Beware the spoilers. ‘The Paradox… Read More →