Trump’s tricky American steel promise

What happens when the promise of political change meets the rocky cliffs of reality? Every president, every Congress, every legislature must weather this shift. History shows that all suffer at least some political fallout in the process. There’s a reason incumbent parties tend to lose seats in the midterms, and that presidential approval (usually) starts high… Read More →

GOP backs off federal land sale for now

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) withdrew his bill that would have allowed the government to sell federal lands for mining and other commercial use. Some had feared that the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness might find its way on the list of lands that could be mined in the future. The U.S. edition of the Guardian reported… Read More →

From pipelines to mines, Trumpism on the march

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump signed an executive order clearing the way for the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipeline projects. Both projects were stalled under President Obama out of environmental concerns. Citing the jobs the projects would create and promising American-made steel in the construction process, Trump waved his order in front of… Read More →

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 →