Snacks, dogs and rock ‘n’ roll

Music festivals are to the music-loving introvert what a seed catalogue is to the over-enthusiastic gardener. They seem like a good idea months in advance of what will actually become hard work. And, like any hard work, the results are worth it. (Though, usually, not until well after the fact). Last weekend, my wife Christina… Read More →

Veritas et scientia: e pluribus unum

Graduation day approaches for five northeastern Minnesota community and technical colleges. And as it so happens, this will be the last graduation day before the beginning of a new era in the region’s long tradition of higher education. The festivities start Tuesday, May 10, when commencement takes place at Vermilion Community College in Ely. Vermilion… Read More →

Virtual Chef’s Gala fundraiser show returns this week

You might recall that earlier this winter I was supposed to co-host the Second Harvest North Central Food Bank Chef’s Gala fundraiser program. Unfortunately, the show was postponed due to a COVID-19 spike in Itasca and Crow Wing counties. The event will return this Thursday, April 28 at 6:30 p.m. amid an improved COVID situation… Read More →

Five northeastern Minnesota colleges merge

Today the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees approved the merger of five northeastern Minnesota community and technical colleges. The colleges include Hibbing Community College, Itasca Community College, Mesabi Range College, Rainy River Community College and Vermilion Community College. The new college will be called Minnesota North College with campuses in Ely, Eveleth,… Read More →

Second Harvest Chef’s Gala event rescheduled

Perhaps you read my column about macaroni and cheese (and food insecurity) from last Sunday. I was going to host a special webcast to raise money for Second Harvest North Central Food Bank’s annual Chef’s Gala this Thursday. Unfortunately, I learned yesterday that the event will be rescheduled for April 28 due to COVID-19 concerns… Read More →

Comfort food

One of the simplest American foods perhaps best reflects our culture: Macaroni and cheese. Though not all mac and cheese is the same, most people in our country are familiar with some version of it. Those differences also reflect the diversity of the United States. Why is mac and cheese such a good example of… Read More →

The early swing for spring

They shouldn’t even schedule youth baseball games until it’s safe to plant your garden outside. Aren’t they pretty much the same thing?  Yeah, your kid can put on a sweatshirt, but so can your vegetables. That doesn’t make it a good use of our time. If you wait long enough the frost will let up…. Read More →

Gearing for a century in spin

In recent weeks my wife and I have been thinking about buying a car. We haven’t decided on one, nor are we in a hurry, but it’s been fascinating to research different vehicles.  Being from the Iron Range I always think about where cars are made before buying one. In the case of modern cars,… Read More →

Northern Minnesota has what you need

What do you need to live? You need air, of course. Food and water. Shelter.  Once you have these you may think about the other things you need. You need friendship, family and love. You need a sense of purpose, to believe that your efforts matter. And finally, once you have these things, you might… Read More →

Live broadcast ‘Celebrity Chef’ challenge to raise funds for Second Harvest

Well, folks. I might be rusty a year after the Great Northern Radio Show went on hiatus, but I’m getting back in the saddle for one night only. It’s time for some fancy live broadcast witty banter … for a good cause. This past year presented an enormous challenge for many of us, but none… Read More →