Lights Out #5 – Mesaba

“Two Lobbyists and a Wife” Coal Plant – Now it’s a Federal Issue! Mesaba’s corporate welfare is in the news again, but this time, it’s gone from a $10 million grant from the state to a whopping $800 million loan guarantee from the federal government! RANGE POWER PLANT PROJECT BRINGS POLITICAL PARTIES TOGETHER, by Lee […]

Earth Charter Summit – October 11, 2003

Third Annual Earth Charter Summit October 11, 2003 College of St. Catherine St. Paul, Minnesota FREE OF CHARGE! Keynote speaker – Kathryn Sikkink, U of M Professor of Political Science and an international expert in transnational social movements. Panel discussion – How can business support the common good? Transportation from Northfield to the Summit and […]


From Power outages to power lines energy is in the news a lot these days. It’s not all negative there are some interesting things happening in the next few weeks: RIDE WITH THE WIND Here’s an event for the weekend after next that just came in over the wire – RENew’s ‘Ride With The Wind’ […]

Minnesota State Standards – Where are we headed?

The new standards in Science and Social studies were recently released by the Minnesota Department of Education, and the Department is starting to receive reactions from all quarters. The Profile of Learning, though described as “state mandated curriculum,” had nowhere near the specificity of these standards. Even though these standards are telling all teachers what […]

Health Care: Is it a right or is health care all wrong?

Most agree, health care is the most critical issue we face and yet few folks want to talk about. As Mike “Barry Casper” says in his book, ‘Lost in Washington‘ (2000), recollections of his time as policy advisor to Senator Wellstone. In all discussions of health care reform, there is general agreement about the major […]

Valley Grove

Sunday before last, I took a break from the pressures of a new school year to attend the Valley Grove annual quilt sale and jello contest. Yes, a jello contest. It honors that “Norwegian” church tradition, the jello that is an essential element of all church gatherings. You’ve all seen the “recipes” in the church […]

Tying things up

Well, it’s been a long week. I am happy to say that after several months the Northfield School District and teachers’ association in Northfield appear to have reached an agreement. Both sides worked hard to do right by their interests yet bend enough toward the other to make it a good agreement. It was not […]

Education – What matters (fourth in a series)

In a recent Harper’s article, award winning teacher John Taylor Gatto, addresses his concerns about the negative effects of schools on children. He paints a picture of a strategy planned by the rich and powerful to produce a mass of consumers who will be obedient and content workers. Although the notion of an intentional conspiracy […]

Education – What matters (third in a series)

Here comes the school year, and here come the students from poor families, and there stand too many teachers insisting the students cannot be taught, that so high a mountain cannot be climbed. Given that attitude, the students are virtually done for. Their prospects for learning are dim. It’s unfair to say the teachers who […]