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Sally Jo Sorensen
Sally Sorensen, an independent blogger, lives and works in rural Minnesota.
Recent Activity
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In House District 17A candidate: Tim Miller, a Q and A published in Gatehouse Media publications in and near the West Central Minnesota house district, Miller, R-Prinsburg, said: Another problem we are facing in rural Minnesota is a lack of daycare options. This is 100 percent due to over-regulation by the state. I have worked and will continue to work to reduce these regulations in order to allow new businesses provide this important service. Miller seems to be the only person in Minnesota to think that over-regulation is 100 percent the lack of daycare options in rural Minnesota. While regulations... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Bluestem Prairie
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Bluffland Whitetails Association is sponsoring a free forum on Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) next Saturday, October 20, 5:00-8:00 p.m., at the Willow Creek Middle School, 2425 11th Ave SE, Rochester, Minnesota. Speakers are listed in the screengrab at the top of this post. There's more on the BWA event page on Facebook: BWA has invited some of top regional leaders in wildlife biology and the studies of CWD (Chronic Wasting Disease) to sit on a forum discussion panel. The goal of the event is clear up a lot of the misinformation currently in the rumor mill about the disease, give... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
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Yesterday, we had noted in Naughty schoolboy Tim Miller skips beginning of own forum to see & be seen at governor's debate that state representative Miller and Republican gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson had campaigned the next morning at the Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton. Shuttered in 2010 by Corrections Corporation of America, the publicly traded corporation recently rebranded as CoreCivic after waves of bad publicity, the prison has been on the state's political radar for the last few sessions. Now Johnson is touting re-opening the facility as a safety measure for correctional guards. He tweeted: Pizza Ranch in Marshall, Grinder... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
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Chalk up another part of Minnesota life harmed by tariffs imposed in the US-China trade war: whitetail deer habitat. At the Alexandria Echo Press, sports and outdoor editor Eric Morken reports in Tariffs a part of closing Hides for Habitat Program for 2018 deer season: It has been well documented how the ongoing trade war between the United States and China has roiled the soybean market, but farming is hardly the only industry affected. Now, habitat projects in the outdoor world are feeling the pinch, too. On Oct. 10, the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association (MDHA) announced it would suspend its... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
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If state representative Tim Miller, R-Prinsburg were a teenager, the attitude displayed at Tuesday night's League of Women Voters forum in Willmar for state house districts 17A and 17B might be unremarkable. Miller is 52 years old. In Minnesota House 17A, 17B candidates speak to voters, West Central Tribune reporters Shelby Linrud reported: Miller was late to the forum and did not have the opportunity for an open statement, along with missing the first two questions on child care and rural transit. Miller first made an appearance at the governor's forum held at MinnWest Technology Campus before arriving at his... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
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While Duane Quam's mic-grabbing episode in Minnesota House District 25A may be grabbing national headlines, it's not the only peculiar moment in recent debates hosted by the League of Women Voters (LWV). Take this moment during a recent LVW forum hosted by the Park Rapids Area chapter. In State rep. candidates tackle a variety of issues, Shannon Geisen reports for the Park Rapids Enterprise: A host of questions focused on the environment. "Our natural environment is very important to voters in these districts. What are your plans for prioritizing in the environment and how can we get various groups, like... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
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After we posted about Southeastern Minnesota's latest viral thing--driven by notice of Rochester nurse Alisha Eiken's social media--in How chivalrous: state representative Duane Quam shares the new civility with Ms. Mahlberg, the story has gone national. Not that Bluestem had much to do with this. Credit goes to Eiken's compelling material, grabbed from a local public access channel online, and widely shared on Twitter and Facebook. Minnesota Public Radio's Catherine Richert reports in Mic grab in debate goes viral: A tense moment in a debate between two candidates running for a Byron-area Minnesota House seat has gone viral. In Rochester... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
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Bluestem has the live feed for WCCO 830 AM up, eager to listen to the "Greater Minnesota" gubernatorial debate sponsored by the radio station, Minnesota AgriGrowth and the Minnesota Corn Growers Association. An earlier press-releasey article in the Austin Daily Herald, Johnson, Walz to participate in ‘Greater Minnesota Debate,’ reported these details about the forum: Minnesota AgriGrowth, in partnership with WCCO Radio and the Minnesota Corn Growers, will host the “Greater Minnesota Debate” between Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson and Congressman Tim Walz. The event will take place live at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 9, at the MinnWest Technology... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
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On Monday, the BBC reported No, civility isn't dead in politics, but in one Minnesota House district, it may be under "Do Not Resuscitate" orders. This astonishing clip from a League of Women Voters' debate in Minnesota House District25A showed up in our editor's Facebook feed: The moment was captured by Alisha Eiken, who posted on Facebook: MN House 25A Debate tonight...Duane Quam loses his temper and rips the microphone out of Jamie Mahlberg’s hands while she was speaking about funding education. And then throws it back at her after his incoherent rebuttal. Around 41 min. The video of the... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
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Much ado was made in the media of President Trump's September tweet supporting the Republican endorsed in Minnesota Seventh Congressional District. Apparently, the fallout from the attention didn't just help the rightward anointed one, Deb Gau reports in the Marshall Independent story, DFL candidates note increased interest in campaigns: Area DFL supporters were dedicated enough to draw a crowd to Justice Park on Saturday for a tailgate cookout on what turned out to be a chilly afternoon. The event brought together DFL candidates for state and national offices. U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson made an appearance and gave an update on... Continue reading
Posted Oct 8, 2018 at Bluestem Prairie
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A long-standing non-profit corporation, Minnesota Bowhunters Inc, isn't endorsing Jeff Johnson according to its Facebook page, but it is touting Jeff Johnson swag in the form of arrow wraps. The blog post hawking the arrow wraps notes: Only one candidate for Governor has a concrete plan for legitimizing deer management in Minnesota. Only one candidate for Governor has his own arrow wraps. The wraps are available here. BUY NOW The link below shares Johnson's plan if he wins in November. Check it out and get some wraps if you like what you see. http://food-plots-for-deer.com/deer-governor/ Click on the BUY NOW link,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 5, 2018 at Bluestem Prairie
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On September 12, Bluestem reported in Broad coalition of conservation & environmental groups ask LCCMR not to raid trust funds: A broad coalition of more than thirty Minnesota hunting, fishing, conservation and environmental groups--ranging from Ducks Unlimited, the Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Alliance, and the Fish & Wildlife Alliance to Honor the Earth, Renewing the Countryside and our friends at CURE--have sent a letter to the members of the Legislative Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) asking that they: not to proceed with approval of any work plans for projects that are proposed to be funded by appropriation bonds approved by... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2018 at Bluestem Prairie
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The Republican primary in Minnesota House District 55A, where political newcomer Erik Mortensen grabbed his party's endorsement with the help of Action4Liberty, was a big draw for independent expenditures. PACs spent $86,088.30, with the lion's share ($62,867) coming from the mostly metro rich folks' Freedom Club State PAC, which also donated to Mortensen's campaign, as did Freedom Club stalwart Joan Cummins. That's some swamp crushing. Mortensen proved his worth Tuesday morning, gracing his Facebook page with the observation, "If it were up my opponent, he'd ban hunting entirely..." A Shakopee hunting enthusiast and supporter of the DFL-endorsed candidate Brad Tabke... Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2018 at Bluestem Prairie
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For several years, Bluestem's been following the slow-motion crisis of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in Minnesota's wild whitetail deer population. The disease is fatal for all deer unfortunate to be afflicted by it. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources issued the following press release on Monday, Deer tests positive for CWD in disease management zone: Test result highlights importance of continuing mandatory tests for harvested deer A deer taken during the opening weekend of archery season in southeastern Minnesota’s disease management zone has tested positive for chronic wasting disease, according to the Department of Natural Resources. A hunter harvested the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 1, 2018 at Bluestem Prairie
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A reader from Dodge County called our attention to an article published in the Rochester Post Bulletin earlier this month. In Nature Nut: Austin's Cedar River fails the pollution test, columnist Greg Munson writes: . . . [Larry Dolphin's] interest in a clean Cedar River began back in the 1980s. Now, in retirement, he has devoted time to that effort. With a three-year Cedar River Pilot Project McKnight Grant given to the Izaak Walton League, Larry and others have been able to quantify the unseen pollution in the Cedar and its tributaries. Doing so has involved taking hundreds water samples... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2018 at Bluestem Prairie
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Like much of the nation, we've been following Thursday's hearings on one allegation of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The twittersphere has been pretty much what one might expect in terms of confirmation bias, but one Minnesota interaction reveals a Big Lake Republican career politician's unfortunate affinities. State senator Mary Kiffmeyer--once upon a time Minnesota's voting-restricting Secretary of State (see Minnesota Montior/Independent timeline quoted here)--has done it again with some questionable sources. As the screenshot of a tweet and replies reveals, Kiffmeyer RT and agreed with Sebatian Gorka, who was canned at the White House in late... Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2018 at Bluestem Prairie
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Earlier this week, Bluestem posted about how neonicotinoids cause harm to bees Bayer's beewashing: PAN post exposes tactics. Now the Guardian's environmental editor Daiman Carrington reports in Monsanto's global weedkiller harms honeybees, new research finds that Roundup (glyphosate), the world's most used weed-killer, may be contributing to the decline in bees, as well as creating the loss of habitat: The world’s most used weedkiller damages the beneficial bacteria in the guts of honeybees and makes them more prone to deadly infections, new research has found. Previous studies have shown that pesticides such as neonicotinoids cause harm to bees, whose pollination... Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2018 at Bluestem Prairie
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This morning, National Public Radio reminded listeners that on this day in 1981, Sandra Day O'Connor was sworn in as a Justice of the Supreme Court. We thought it a good occasion to remind readers in Minnesota's First Congressional District of a thoroughly tasteless and sexist--heck, downright cruel--crack perennial congressional candidate Jim Hagedorn made on his "Mr. Conservative" blog when it came time to replace O'Connor at her retirement. A screenshot of the original text on Hagedorn's site is at the top of this post--preserved in the Bluestem entry that first discussed the blog, in October 2009. A funny thing... Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2018 at Bluestem Prairie
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In What's in a brand? Bayer retirement of Monsanto company name echoes post-WWII rebranding back in June, Bluestem looked at how Bayer was no stranger to a bit of brand repositioning. Now Willa Childress, who leads the Pecticide Action Network's organizing and advocacy work in Minnesota, writes in Bayer can’t greenwash away Monsanto’s mess: Bayer’s corporate record book definitely isn’t clean. The pharmaceutical and chemical company best known for aspirin has spent time and resources protecting their brand through “greenwashing.” Bayer and many other corporations have perfected this PR strategy, spreading misleading information to promote themselves as champions of sustainability.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 24, 2018 at Bluestem Prairie
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Earlier this week, Bluestem Prairie (and a number of other venues) wrote about state senator Scott Newman's tweet about an allegation of attempted rape by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Distant media and tweepsters weren't the only ones paying attention. In the "Curmudgeon's Corner," a column published in newspapers in Howard Lake, Dassel-Cokato and Delano, Ivan Racontuer writes in Newman’s irresponsible tweet illustrates need for change: . . . Newman’s tweet was irresponsible, and a disservice to his constituents and others. He takes it upon himself to decide whether or not the woman’s allegations are true. This seems an interesting... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2018 at Bluestem Prairie
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The House version of the Farm Bill contains language that could stop local cities' efforts to limit the use of pesticides. At Minnesota Public Radio, Elisabeth Dunbar reports in Minnesota cities to Congress: Let us help the bees: The new federal farm bill could force several Minnesota cities to stop banning a pesticide that can harm bee populations. A final version of the farm bill, which would replace the one expiring at the end of September, is still under debate in a House-Senate conference committee. But the House version of the bill included a provision that would bar cities from... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2018 at Bluestem Prairie
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State senator Scott Newman, R-Hutchinson, wanted to be a judge himself once, running in 2006 with a partisan endorsement against sitting judge Michael Savre, but now his judgment is under scrutiny by the people of the internet. Dave Orrick reports at the Pioneer Press in Did MN senator try to excuse teen attempted rape in Kavanaugh tweet? Twitter thinks so. ‘Even if true, teenagers!’ goes viral: A Minnesota state senator is under fire on social media for his tweet about allegations of sexual misconduct against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. . . . Newman’s tweet appears to suggest that... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2018 at Bluestem Prairie
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Visit the Twitter account of Kim Spears, the endorsed Republican candidate now making his third run for Minnesota House district 19A, and one of the first things keen observers will notice is while he's been on Twitter since May 2014, he's only tweeted 58 times. Scroll to the bottom of his account, and a reader will see that the tweets begin on January 22. What's up with that? District resident Seán Easton has been tweeting the deleted backstory and it ain't pretty. Seems that Spears made some tweets disappear that might not meet the standards of the district that's home... Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2018 at Bluestem Prairie
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Via Willmar City Council Member Ron Christianson's Facebook page, we learn of a new venue for Minnesota's anti-Muslim speaking circuit: the Let Freedom Ring forum, which will host anti-Muslim speaker Chris Gaubatz on October 2 at a location to be announced. The event is the second offering by the group, which brought Phil Haney to The Harbor church in Spicer on September 11. Read about Haney's beliefs at Right Wing Watch. Willmar Radio' spoke to Haney here. Let Freedom Ring events are hosted by the THEE Book Club (more about this group later). Judging from the Let Freedom Ring event... Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2018 at Bluestem Prairie
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A broad coalition of more than thirty Minnesota hunting, fishing, conservation and environmental groups--ranging from Ducks Unlimited, the Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Alliance, and the Fish & Wildlife Alliance to Honor the Earth, Renewing the Countryside and our friends at CURE--have sent a letter to the members of the Legislative Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) asking that they: not to proceed with approval of any work plans for projects that are proposed to be funded by appropriation bonds approved by the 2018 legislature. The LCCMR members should instead uphold the clear language and intent of the constitutional amendments that have... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2018 at Bluestem Prairie