This is Sally Jo Sorensen's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Sally Jo Sorensen's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Sally Jo Sorensen
Sally Sorensen, an independent blogger, lives and works in rural Minnesota.
Recent Activity
Image
An email from Citizens Concerned About Rail Line (CCARL)announces that Minnesota Department of Transportation Charlie Zelle will appear at a public meeting about the shuttered "ZipRail Proposal and Developments" at Cannon Falls' Urland Lutheran Church on Tuesday, February 16, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m/ The parish is located at 6940 County 9 Blvd., Cannon Falls, MN 55009 (approximately 2 miles west of Hwy. 52 on County Road 9). It's not unusual for churches to be used for secular public meetings held by community groups in Greater Minnesota. We've posted a photo of the building above. According to the email, "Citizens... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Bluestem Prairie
Image
In two opinion page articles, the St. Cloud Times makes the case that difficult issues are best dealt with in forums that are open to the public, whether the sponsors are public or private organizations. The commentary and editorial are prompted by meetings related to the city's refugee residents. The editorial board notes in Keep talking about differences — publicly: Here's the good news when it comes dealing with cultural differences in the St. Cloud metro area: Residents have opportunities to talk about — and learn about — those differences in civil, public settings. In fact, this week features two... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
In late December 2015, we posted about how Houston Co commissioners' move to ignore planning board term limits roils SE MN. Now Caledonia Argus editor Daniel McGonigle reports in Kruse resigns from Planning Commission, BOA: Glenn Kruse has submitted his resignation to the boards of both the Planning Commission and the Board of Adjustment. Kruse submitted his resignation in the afternoon of Monday, Feb. 1. “We thank him for his years of service,” said county commissioner Steve Schuldt. No reason was given to the board for his resignation. However, the re-appointment to the planning commission seat became a contentious one... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
On Wednesday, the Governor’s Task Force on Broadband released a report calling for a $200 million investment in rural broadband access over the next two years. Star Tribune reporter Ricardo Lopez wrote in Task force recommends $200M for rural broadband: The push to enhance high-speed Internet access in rural areas of Minnesota got a boost Wednesday when a state task force recommended that the state spend another $200 million on the effort. The report provides fresh ammunition to Gov. Mark Dayton, who has pressed legislators to provide more funding to boost broadband access in outstate Minnesota, where roughly two in... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
In the past decade, thousands of daycare providers have left the business of caring for Minnesota's youngest residents. Next week, two separate and unrelated efforts are underway to address this crisis. Listening session in at Brainerd's Central Lake College The Brainerd Dispatch reports in a news brief, Listening session on child care scheduled Feb. 9: Minnesota Reps. Josh Heintzeman, R-Nisswa, and Dale Lueck, R-Aitkin, invite parents and child care providers to attend a listening session Feb. 9 at the Central Lakes College cafeteria to discuss the challenges of accessing child care in greater Minnesota. The meeting will begin at 6... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Even before Tom Emmer was elected to Congress in 2014, A. Jeanene Kern was against the Delano Republican. Since he's lived up to her expectations, she's challenging freshman lawmaker for the Republican endorsement in Minnesota's Sixth Congressional District. In GOP endorsements were bad choices, Kern blasted Emmer as a candidate before the August 2014 primary: 6th District seat Earlier this year, Bachmann endorsed Emmer as her successor. Bachmann, who recruited Emmer for his unsuccessful gubernatorial run, stated in a Minnesota Public Radio piece, “Tom Emmer is so reflective of this district.” Reflective of the Republican establishment or reflective of the... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Representative Cindy Pugh, R-Chanhassen, had one heckova of week at the end of January, and her adventures illustrate why some Minnesotans might think she's a bit silly at times. In Tuesday's Column, Andy Birkey reports Right to discriminate bill introduced in Minnesota House: Republicans in the Minnesota House introduced prefiled a bill that would allow people, organizations, and businesses to refuse service to same-sex couples based on religious belief. The bill was posted to the Minnesota House website on Friday. The bill, HF2462, was introduced by Republican Reps. Duane Quam of Byron and Cindy Pugh of Chanhassen. The bill states:... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
A source sent us an eyewitness written report of last week's "Sharia 101" talk by Jeff Baumann in St. Cloud. According to the meeting notes, the group--which calls itself "Peace in St. Cloud"--is planning to invite a stridently anti-Muslim Christian evangelical: The group is inviting Usama Dakdok to town towards the end of May to talk. Usama is an anti-Muslim preacher with the Straight Way Ministries who grew up in Egypt as a Coptic Christian. His videos include such charmers like, “Every Muslim is a Demon!” [links added] Should Dakdok accept the invitation and the group follow through with its... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Just in from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) via email: Due to the potential for severe weather/dangerous driving conditions, we are rescheduling the listening session in Marshall originally planned for tomorrow to Wednesday, February 24 – same time, same location (Open house starts 5:30PM, Listening session begins 6:30PM; SMSU Conference Center, Upper Ballroom). We’ll be distributing this information via our GovDelivery list, and the agency’s social media accounts, but please do share with anyone else who may have been planning to attend tomorrow’s session. We look forward to next week’s session in St. Cloud. Apologies for any inconvenience. Anyone... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Via The Uptake, we're livestreaming Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk (DFL) and House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R) as they reveal their agendas and set expectations in this 2016 legislative preview held at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. The Uptake's Bill Sorem writes: A big surplus, a divided Government and the issues of tax reform, education, and transportation loom ahead. All that and more face the legislature when it convenes for short session in 2016. . . .join the conversation by tweeting with the hashtag #MNLeg. Photo: Bakk and Daudt in warmer days. If you appreciate Bluestem Prairie's reporting and... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
After months of exploring a bid for Minnesota's sprawling Seventh Congressional District, Montevideo resident and Dawson native Kevin Winge filed his candidacy's paperwork with the Federal Election Commission on January 27. While earlier articles reported that Winge would run as an Independence Party man, his paperwork list "Independent." Whatever the case, Winge boasts an impressive resume .His LinkedIn profile reveals a fascinating career. He's probably best known in Minnesota for his transformation of Open Arms Minnesota across 12 years. The group's 2011 annual report notes: In 2011, our executive director Kevin Winge resigned from his post to head up a... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
On Friday, we posted about HF2489 in Four MN House Republicans introduce companion to Senator Brown's "foreign law" bill, noting that the senate version of the bill was a key point for those criticizing Brown's presence at a controversial talk last week in St. Cloud. There's more about that meeting in Sunday's Star Tribune. Maya Rao reports in St. Cloud comes to grips with clashes between immigrants, longtime locals: There are fresh signs that tensions are still simmering. Last week, a crowd attended a chicken dinner and talk titled “Shariah 101” by Jeffrey Baumann, a Coon Rapids man who said... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
On December 7, Matthew William Gust allegedly "filled a 40-ounce beer bottle with gasoline, broke the window of Juba Coffee and Restaurant and threw the bottle inside, resulting in an explosion that caused $90,000 in damage." The Grand Forks Herald reports that Gust hurled the Molotov cocktail through the window just days after words “go home” along with Nazi-like symbols were spray-painted on the restaurant, leading many to suspect that the small business was targeted because the owners are Somali. He's in custody after pleading not guilty, waiting for a March 15 trial. But the story doesn't end there. A... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
We haven't posted about Annandale toxic rocker, pastor and radio talker for a while, since he's not been so much a thing after he dissolved his street teams to focus on captive radio audiences. Right Wing Watch's Brian Tashman has been keeping an ear out, though, and came up with this gem, Bradlee Dean: Gay People Have Never Once Been Victims Of Hate: On Tuesday, Religious Right activist Bradlee Dean appeared on “The Real Side with Joe Messina,” where he criticized “the homosexual industry, or lobby, in America” for going to “war with Scripture.” Dean also had a message for... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
After a week in which state senator David Brown, R-Becker, was rebuked for speaking about SF1264 at an event described as anti-Muslim, four Minnesota House Republicans introduced HF2489 on Friday, the first day of recess "Introduction and First Reading of House Bills." We've put together a side-by-side comparison of the language in the two bills. Download the comparison here. The two bills aren't paired as companion bills, but they're fairly close in language. State representative Mark Anderson, R-Lake Shore, is the author of the new house bill; Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, Bob Dettmer, R-Forest Lake, and Cindy Pugh, R-Chanhassen, are co-authors.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
In the St. Paul Pioneer Press, outdoors writer Dave Orrick reports in Dayton backs off buffer strips for private ditches: Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has ceded ground to farm interests and Republicans over a contentious aspect of his plan to require vegetative buffer strips to help protect water from agricultural runoff. Privately owned drainage ditches are off the table, Dayon announced Friday morning. This is more than just a Friday news dump, in a state fixated on the presidential caucus just across the Iowa border. By suspending the mapping project--which is in the statute--the governor has caved into those who... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Last February in our post, Horse hockey: who's pushing the puck for new Coalition for a Secure Energy Future TV ad?, we looked at the source of the funding for the "Coalition for a Secure Energy Future," a "marketing" campaign funded by a North Dakota coal tax and approved by the state's Industrial Commission. Since the Coalition for a Secure Energy Coalition is emailing its list to urge people to attend the four Clean Power Plan listening sessions in Greater Minnesota and praise lumps of coal (more on that in a bit), we thought it was worthwhile to see what... Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Although the Winona County board and department heads plead their case on Wednesday afternoon for state funding for jail overcrowding and mental health issues among jail inmates, maintaining the road system, and rural broadband internet development, state representative Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, offered only one suggestion. Cut spending. Glen Olson reports in the Winona Daily News article, County board and departments meet with legislators to give opinions: Commissioner Jim Pomeroy referred to the problem of jail overcrowding and the problem of dealing with mental health issues among jail inmates as a “crisis.” The city attorney’s office highlighted the need mental health... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
On Tuesday, we posted in Who saw this coming down the track? MnDOT, Olmsted Co discuss privatizing Zip Rail work: In Report zeroes in on eight possible high-speed rail routes, the Post Bulletin's Heather Carlson reports: . . . Olmsted County Commissioner Ken Brown said it appears likely that public work on the project will cease, and it will be up to North American High Speed Rail to make high-speed rail between Rochester and the Twin Cities a reality. "It's not going to happen any other way. This will not be a public project. Can't afford it. Nobody's got the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
In the Bemidji Pioneer, Kyle Farris reports in Rep. Collin Peterson visits Bemidji: Peterson said our elections are poisoned by money and special interests. Campaigns should be two months, he said, and publically funded. He said Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are a little like him, because they speak their minds. "I tell the truth," he said. "whether or not people want to hear it." That's not exactly feeling the Bern, but one can't fault Peterson for speaking his mind. MN07 food fight in the school lunchroom On January 19, the Associated Press's Mary Clare Jalonick reported Michelle Obama, GOP... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Less than a week ago, Bluestem posted West Central Tribune: Just leave Willmar out of your bigoted and untrue stories about us, which was picked up by Daily Kos in This week at progressive state blogs: challenging bigots in Minnesota; starving Uncle Sam. Both posts were based in the West Center Tribune's editorial, Our fair city of Willmar is doing just fine, thank you. Now the paper has received a letter from Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, Kudos on defending Willmar immigrants: I read with interest the West Central Tribune’s Jan. 21 editorial defending Willmar’s immigrant community. I commend the editorial... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
A reader took note of our interest in the Governor's Water Summit and Tim Miller and Jeff Backer's environmental listening sessions in Dogwhistling away water quality: Miller to hold listening session targeting laws & regulations--and passed along news of two more events in greater Minnesota. Representatives Dan Fabian, R-Roseau and Steve Green, R-Fosston will host Representative Denny McNamara,R-Hastings, Chair of the House Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance Committee, for listening sessions. The schedule: Morning What: Environment Listening Session with Rep. Steve Green, Rep. Dave Hancock & Rep. Denny McNamara When: Wednesday, February 3rd from 9:00 PM to 11:00... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
We were looking at the webpage for the newly constituted Select Committee on Affordable Child Care that Speaker Daudt assembled when we noticed something strange going on in the committee membership page. Little Falls Republican Ron Kresha has two faces. While this might not be news to some of his constituents, it's definitely something that shouldn't be on an official webpage, especially when Ron Kresha's other face belongs to Minneapolis DFLer Joe Mullery. While shape-shifting on the part of Kresha or Mullery is a remote possibility, it's possible it might be evidence of closeted metro-centric sympathies on Kresha's part. Let's... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
In Report zeroes in on eight possible high-speed rail routes, the Post Bulletin's Heather Carlson reports: Zip Rail critics charge the state is trying to avoid public comment on a completed Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement by stopping work now. The Alternatives Analysis Report is not subject to a public comment period. Heather Arndt co-leader of Citizens Concerned About Rail Line, said work on the report has taken far too long. "I think they are playing games to intentional stop citizen input," Arndt said. [MnDOT passenger rail office director Dan] Krom said work on the project took longer than planned... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
The Rochester Post Bulletin reports in Zumbrota seeks meeting with dairy plant management: It could be a tricky conversation for both sides. The DFA plant in Zumbrota has been fined more than $100,000 by the city since 2014 over a smelly wastewater discharge. The dispute between the city and DFA eventually landed in the Minnesota Court of Appeals. Repeated wastewater violations prompted the city to increase its fee and fine schedule for the third time since 2009, which led to the legal challenge by DFA. Bauer said Saturday that the local dairy plant, which processes about 8 million pounds of... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2016 at Bluestem Prairie