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
A friend emailed Bluestem Prairie to let us know that state senator David Osmek, R-Mound, and several Minnesota conservative talk radio hosts are attending the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) Hold Their Feet to the Fire Radio Row event Wednesday and Thursday. Producer Sam Sansevere tweeted Wednesday morning: LIVE from D.C., @DavidJOsmek is currently chatting with @JonJustice @AndrewLeeTCNT on #tcnt! 103.5fm, AM1130, iHeart Radio #TCNTGoesToDC pic.twitter.com/POawCxMv8a — Sam Sansevere (@samsansevere) June 28, 2017 Pennsylvania Congressman Lou Barletta tweeted the same day: Talking about the need to stop sanctuary cities w @danoxochsner - 1st bill I introduced in '11 cut... Continue reading
Posted 24 minutes ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Bluestem is pleasantly surprised to see the interest in climate action positions of the 2018 DFL gubernatorial candidates. One reader correctly scolded us for not highlighting State Auditor Rebecca Otto's long-standing positions--and action--on climate change and clean, renewable energy. We can't write or speak about this history better than the candidate herself. From her website: Endorsed by world-leading climate experts, Rebecca Otto is our best hope. She and her husband built their own green home with their own hands 23 years ago, and have been national leaders in tackling the problem and moving on to the great, well-paying jobs of... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Why do Minnesotans worry about too much phosphorus getting into our 10,000 lakes? One good reasons is that hell-sent curse of summer vacations, the blue-green algal bloom. From a press release from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA): Summer is here, and while water enthusiasts and pets enjoy swimming and boating when the weather is calm and sunny, these conditions are also perfect for growing blue-green algae, which can be harmful to both people and animals. Last summer, blue-green algal blooms were reported in lakes across the state, from near the Iowa border all the way to the Canadian border.... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Last week, we posted MN legislators join colleagues nationwide in supporting climate action, Paris agreement and Readers: Where are the other DFL gubernatorial candidates, MN legislators on climate action? We're learning more about DFL gubernatorial candidates' positions on climate action. State Representative Erin Murphy's gubernatorial press staff emailed us about the St. Paul Democrat's position: I saw your recent article about State Legislators United for Climate Action and wanted to follow-up. Erin Murphy signed on to the letter of support today (though it hasn't popped up in the searchable database yet) and had previously posted on Facebook about the need... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Friday, Bluestem Prairie posted MN legislators join colleagues nationwide in supporting climate action, Paris agreement, noting that: at least 26 Democratic Minnesota legislators have joined 550 colleagues from around the country in the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators in State Legislators United for Climate Action. One sharp-eyed reader in the Alexandria area asked in an email: Good question to ask the other Gov. candidates - have you signed up for..! State Representative Tina Liebling, DFL-Rochester, is the only DFL lawmaker seeking the party's endorsement for the governor's race in 2018. Given that Republican climate denial votes were fodder for DFL... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Via the legislative update sent to subscribers by pollinator policy pioneer state representative Rick Hansen, DFL-S. St. Paul, we've learned of a handy, two-page pollinator protection guide that's part of the Minnesota Board of Water & Soil Resources (BWSR, commonly pronounced "browser") Pollinator Initiative. Pollinator Week ends today. The brochure notes: There is increasing evidence that insect pollinators are disappearing at alarming rates. Major factors include loss of forage plants and nesting habitat, disease, pesticide use, and pests. Without those pollinators, our own diets will be severely restricted--apples, berries, cucumbers, squash and many other staples of Minnesota's summer bounty will... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
It's been a staple of our state's political coverage to note that Minnesota House Republicans frequently deny the climate change exists. Witness Stribber Jon Tevlin's 2015 column, Minnesota House says: 'What climate change?". Or Susan Du's article last month in the City Pages, Minnesota House Republicans slash funding for environment, climate science. Not so for their peers on the other side of the aisle, and now at least 26 Democratic Minnesota legislators have joined 550 colleagues from around the country in the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators in State Legislators United for Climate Action. Here's the statement; scroll to pages... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
As the screenshot above documents, state representative Tim Miller, R-Prinsburg, has joined in condemning the hiring of a Chief Resilience Officer by the City of Minneapolis. We're told by the Star Tribune Morning Hot Dish newsletter that this development deserves listing on the "Minneapolis Self Parody Watch." Miller, the man who would be a congressman is outraged in a now-vanished Facebook post: Government completely out of control. Hard to say which is worse, that this exists or that the taxpayer is paying for it. He'll have to center his outrage on the first option, since taxpayers aren't footing the bill... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
As we noted earlier in Celebrate National Pollinator Awareness Week by signing up with the MN Bee Atlas Project, it's national pollinator week. One must-read for Minnesotans is the Environmental Quality Board report on state agencies' efforts to protect pollinators: 2017 Minnesota State Agency Pollinator Report uploaded by Sally Jo Sorensen on Scribd Some background on the agencies' effort: Governor Mark Dayton issued Executive Order 16-07 in August 2016, directing a team of state agency experts to take immediate action to reverse pollinator decline and restore pollinator health in the state. Under the order, the Environmental Quality Board was charged... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Twice-failed Willmar City Council candidate and anti-refugee, anti-Muslim activist Bob Enos is certain Minneapolis' new hate crime hotline was created solely to help Mayor Betsy Hodges woo Somali voters in the city's upcoming mayoral election. Oh really? Here's Libor Jany's article, Minneapolis launches hate-crime hot line, that set Enos off: The city of Minneapolis has set up a hot line for residents to report hate-crime incidents and other acts of intolerance. The service, operated through the city's 311 help line, is aimed to aid targets of any "harassing behaviors motivated by prejudice," according to a city news release issued on... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
As many readers will know, frac sand interests have filed two law suits objecting to the ban on new sand mines that Winona County's board approved after months of public scrutiny. Now those interests are attempting to block Land Stewardship Project, whose local grassroots organizing helped Winona County residents work together to achieve the ban, from having a hand in defending it. The group, with offices in Lewiston, Montevideo and Minneapolis, has released a Response to Pro-Frac Sand Interests' Objections to LSP's Participation in Legal Defense of Winona County Ban: Pro-frac sand interests suing Winona County in southeastern Minnesota have... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2017 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Following the lack of a second by the Fairfax City Council to sign a contract to run the golf course at Fort Ridgely State Park, the future of the course is in doubt, the Mankato Free Press, West Central Tribune and New Ulm Journal report, although the plan's supporters continue to hold out hope for another public sponsor. The editorial board of the Mankato Free Press, on the other hand, say in Our View: Golf course: After a good effort, it's time to give up on Ridgely golf course. At the New Ulm Journal, Fritz Busch reported last week in... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2017 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Two friends called to share their reflections on a CD1 DFL fundraiser in Fairmont at which five potential DFL candidates spoke to South Central Minnesota Democrats. The photo above, shared on the First Congressional District DFL Facebook page, shows the range of talent running for party endorsement. From left to right: Daniel Feehan, Colin Minehart, Joe Sullivan, Vicki Jensen and John Wayne Austinson. The candidates are making the rounds. In the Albert Lea Tribune, Sam Wilmes reports in DFL candidates for governor, 1st District visit town: . . . Democratic congressional candidates to replace Walz’s First Congressional District seat —... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2017 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
June 19-25, 2017 has been designated National Pollinator Week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of the Interior, Pollinator.org notes. It's a ten-year-old program, according to the site: Ten years ago the U.S. Senate's unanimous approval and designation of a week in June as "National Pollinator Week" marked a necessary step toward addressing the urgent issue of declining pollinator populations. One pollinator program that Bluestem appreciates (and knows to be genuine citizen science, rather than "beewashing") is the Minnesota Bee Atlas that the University of Minnesota is conducting through 2019 with the support of the state's... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2017 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
On Wednesday in This month in MN Ag Stakeholderland: MN AgPac's day at the races & Future Ag Think Tank, we looked briefly at the Future Ag Think Tank taking place Thursday and Friday at the University of Minnesota's St. Paul campus. Here's one description of this stakeholder event: The University of Minnesota and Future iQ are collaborating to explore the future of U.S. Midwest agriculture. Future climate scenarios pinpoint the Upper Midwest as a globally crucial source of food, water, and energy by 2100. The region contains some of the planet’s best soils, and the Great Lakes represent 20%... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2017 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
News of two events came our way early this evening, First, an Eventbrite invitation to the MN AgPAC Summer Fundraiser(Minnesota AgPAC ) Thursday, June 29, 2017 from 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM at Canterbury Park. It's the Minnesota AgriGrowth's fundraiser to support the Political Action Committee that gives to "legislative candidates who understand the value of food and agriculture to Minnesota's economy." While it's hard to tell if all the cool kids will be there--including Monsanto, Syngenta, Enbridge and their kindred--attendees are warned that contributions better come from personal funds. What a relief that is for us. The other event... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2017 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Last week, we noted in The one about how Republicans care so much about rural Corridors of Commerce funding that rural Corridors of Commerce projects might not compete so well with metro road construction projects. This from a Republican-controlled state legislature whose members place-baited their way into the majority by campaigning on the notion that rural Minnesota was left behind on crumbling roads and goat trails. It gets better. In Prospects for four-lane Hwy. 14 expansions unclear after legislative action, Nancy Madsen reports: The [Highway 14] partnership supported language requiring that Corridors of Commerce money get spread around the state,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2017 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
The Marshall Independent reports in Prosch announces campaign in 7th District: People are ready for change, Matt Prosch said — change in policies that affect agriculture and business in rural Minnesota, and a change in their U.S. representative. Prosch said he hopes to be that change. On Saturday, surrounded by signs reading “Real People, Real Results,” Prosch formally announced his candidacy for U.S. Congress in Minnesota’s 7th District. “I feel I can bring a real perspective to this country,” Prosch said, addressing a group of area residents gathered at the Lake Benton Community Center. Prosch held a campaign kick-off Saturday... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2017 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
In Tree clearing prompts order to restore for megachurch pastors, the Brainerd Dispatch's Chelsey Perkins tells a story of trees along the Mississippi River in Crow Wing County being destroyed by a blowdown, just as a retirement home was going up for "the Rev. James "Mac" Hammond and the Rev. Lynne Hammond, the husband and wife senior pastor team of Living Word Christian Center in Brooklyn Park." Or the trees were cut down to enhance a river view. Perkins reports: Pontoon cruises along one of the wildest stretches of the Mississippi River are a pastime of Lawrence and Marian Severt.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2017 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
It's summer, time for another appeal to our readers for support. If you value Bluestem's distinctive discussion of Minnesota politics from a Greater Minnesota progressive prospective, please consider donating to our summer fundraiser. If you appreciate our posts and original analysis, you can mail contributions (payable to Sally Jo Sorensen, 313 Park Street, Ortonville, MN 56278) or use the paypal button in the upper right hand corner of this post. Those wishing to make a small ongoing monthly contribution should click on the paypal subscription button. Or you can contribute via this link to paypal; use email sally.jo.sorensen@gmail.com as recipient.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2017 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Back on May 25, we posted in [Tim] Miller apparently not raising much congressional cash while the Minnesota House is in session that the Prinsburg Republican's Financial Disclosure Report with the Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives was not yet available to view by searching the online database. When we looked at the database today, we discovered that the form was now online, and was received on May 19, 2017. Here it is: MN CD7: Tim Miller's Financial Disclosure Report filed with Clerk, US House uploaded by Sally Jo Sorensen on Scribd (the "portrait" scanning of... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2017 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
On Monday, Blois Olson published this item in his Morning Take newsletter: DIVIDE: A protest at the DFL’s annual Humprhey-Mondale dinner that included a number of gubernatorial candidates over immigrant drivers licenses was cancelled late Friday. The move that shows DFL chair Ken Martin still holds the power and sway to unite the party. Martin’s attempt to keep the party together despite a growing gap between the immigrant/environmental activists and the job/labor activists will be a major challenge in 2018 with a crowded gubernatorial election. The interesting dynamic is the role of DNC member Javier Morillo-Alicea the SEIU 26 leader... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2017 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
In Wednesday's Morning Hot Dish newsletter from the Star Tribune, J. Patrick Coolican reported: Regarding Dayton’s roadshow, I had an interesting conversation with Rep. Paul Marquart, a DFL survivor out in greater Minnesota. His take on the session was that the Legislature got a lot done for rural Minnesota. He also says he would trade his salary and work for nothing as long as he got the ag tax cuts for school construction bonds for his struggling school districts. A straight shooter, that one. It's interesting to read Marquart's eagerness to forgo his salary in 2017. Such was not the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2017 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
We posted earlier about the Enbridge Line 3 hearings now under in Winona LaDuke suggests questions worth asking at Enbridge Line 3 hearings coming up this week. Minnesota Public Radio (MPR), Forum newspapers network and WDIO TV reported on the first hearings in Bagley and Grand Rapids, while elsewhere an oil industry publication threw a pity party. Bluestem decided to cancel its bake sales for the suffering oil executives after reading 15 Leading National Groups Moving Money Out Of Pipeline Banks. In Enbridge pipeline backers, foes speak out as Minnesota mulls permit, MPR's Dan Kraker reports: Dozens of supporters and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2017 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
One small indication crosses our path that not everyone in Willmar celebrates Trump. The January 11, 2017 West Central Tribune carried this letter to the editor by Willmar reader Kent Syverson, No point in griping about Trump: In some of my previous letters, I expressed my opinions about our recent election. Like some people, I wasn't very happy when Donald Trump won. But now we are just days away from the inauguration. Like it or not, barring something unusual, Trump will become our next president. I heard somebody say that Trump just might surprise us. He might turn out to... Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2017 at Bluestem Prairie