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
Gallup discovered American's confidence in Congress edged up this year, with 12 percent of those surveyed telling the polling group that they have "a great deal" and "quite a lot" of confidence in the institution. Surely, a bullet point in Tim Miller's resume--his recent experience with and income from his consulting firm Development Partners--can only bolster that confidence should he bump off veteran Minnesota Seventh District congressman Collin Peterson. In the Detroit Lakes newspaper and other Forum Communications outlets, Nathan Bowe reports in Republican Tim Miller hopes to take on Collin Peterson: A lifelong entrepreneur, Miller owned a painting contracting... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Bluestem Prairie
Image
In today's Aberdeen American News, we read in Shannon Marvel's SD utilities commissioner 'deeply disturbed' by Keystone leak: A South Dakota utilities commissioner is "semi surprised and deeply disturbed" by a 210,000-gallon oil leak discovered last week from TransCanada's Keystone Pipeline in Marshall County. Commissioner Gary Hanson was a member of the state Public Utilities Commission that in Marcy 2008 approved the permit for TransCanada Corp. to construct the Keystone Pipeline. "This is a relatively new pipeline. It is supposed to have an operating life of more than 100 years and it was supposed to be a state-of-the-art pipeline construction.... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
One of the hazards facing eagles is lead just after the firearms deer season; the solution is non-lead shot. Jeff Birchem writes about the solution in Retired DNR conservation officer makes case for copper bullets during deer hunting trip with his daughter: . . . My daughter, Johanna, 13, and I talked a lot about deer hunting. We talked a lot about doing the "right thing." We talked about hunting safety, hunting laws, ethics and how our actions as individual hunters reflect on the whole hunting community. We also talked a lot about using copper bullets. I explained to her... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
In the company of a Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate tribal elder, Bluestem traveled today to a rural area just southeast of Amherst, South Dakota, site of the most recent oil spill on the Keystone opipeline owned by TransCanada. We couldn't get too close to the site, as roads going close to it are blocked for two miles around by local and state law enforcement. However, we had brought binoculars and could see equipment gathered at the site, as well as a nearby work base. Fortunately, Mike (he doesn't wish to have his last name published) had brought his tribal plat book, which... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Sure, the brinkmanship games and poison pills were fun last spring at the end of the Minnesota legislative session, but now perfectly ordinary Republican lawmakers are feeling the pain of Dayton's veto of funding for the circus. The Hutchinson Leader's Jeremy Jones reports in Supreme Court ruling affects local elected officials: Local lawmakers could be without the staff who help them with day-to-day operations, research and legislation by early next year. “We have the money to get to May,” said Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Acton Township. “But then there is no more looking under the couch cushions for change.” The issue... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Earlier this year, Judge Mary Leahy ruled that the Land Stewardship Project (LSP) didn't have a right to intervene in the lawsuit against Winona County's frac sand ban. That decision didn't foreshadow good news for the corporate interests, a ruling late Friday shows. Here's the LSP Statement on Court Ruling to Uphold the Winona County Frac Sand Ban: On Nov. 17, Minnesota District Court Judge Mary Leahy dismissed with prejudice pro-frac sand interests’ claims in their attempt to undo the Winona County, Minn., frac sand ban. The judge ruled that the county acted fully within its authority in passing this... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Bluestem Prairie's editor and publisher recently moved to Summit, South Dakota, a small town located in Roberts County on the large Lake Traverse Indian Reservation. Part of the reservation is located in neighboring Marshall County, where TransCanada's Keystone Pipeline leaked 210,000 gallons of oil just west of the indigenous nation's border. CBC Radio Canada Indigenous Jorge Barrera reports in Native American tribe bracing for Keystone pipeline leak impact: A Native American tribe in South Dakota is on edge following a large oil leak from TransCanada's Keystone pipeline. TransCanada said in a statement Thursday 795,000 litres of oil leaked from an... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2017 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Bluestem was delighted to read the headline, Argentina will host specialized World Expo 2023; Minnesota placed third, in Wednesday's Pioneer Press. Our objection to the effort stemmed from the deep involvement of North American High Speed Rail, aka the Minnesota Corridor, aka Zombie Ziprail, the plan to build a private high speed rail from the south metro to Rochester. Our most recent posts were With DC congressional vote on World's Fair, Zombie Ziprail walks once more in Minnesota and Not nicknamed Zombie Ziprail for nothing: NAHSRG rebranded as Minnesota Corridor. See also: Tonight on Southern Minnesota's walking dead: why won't... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2017 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Late last month, Minnesota Lawyer's Kevin Featherly reported in Bar Buzz: Daudt to House: No per diem for you!: In a recent letter to House members, Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, said that while the Legislature’s budget remains in legal limbo, lawmakers will receive no per diem allowances. In addition, he said, as of Oct. 6 House members will receive no reimbursements for mileage or business travel, communication, out-of-state travel not previously approved by the speaker or travel within their districts. Also, he said, committee budget spending is suspended. Daudt blamed the policy change on the loss of the House’s ongoing... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2017 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
A reader brought a November 9th Dennis Anderson column, Hunters don't deserve some farmers' ire over buffer law, to our attention yesterday. Something in the veteran outdoors copy caught our eye: the spectacle of farmers complaining about guvmint overreach into water quality issues, while those same grain farmers collected nice checks from the United States Department of Agriculture. The poor things! (Most farmers are in compliance). Anderson writes: Some farmers are taking their gripes out on hunters, believing hunters' interests in pheasant habitat, and not the public's aspiration for cleaner lakes and rivers, are what's behind the governor's desire to... Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2017 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
A letter-to-the-editor about the recent elections comes our way from League of Women Voters Minnesota President Terry Kalil, a resident of the Detroit Lakes area, came our way: This week we learned of so many firsts across this country, firsts that give me hope that we, the people, have a greater understanding of what it means to be an American. A New York cab driver told me a few weeks ago that, “this was not the America he immigrated to 30 years ago.” I wonder what he’d say now about the Liberian immigrant elected mayor of Helena, Montana, defeating the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2017 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Last summer, the story of Dawson hospital medical director Ayaz Virji gained national attention with publication of the Washington Post article, 'Love Thy Neighbor?' The article notes the doctor's public lectures about Islam. Earlier in March, WCCO reported about Virji's first lecture in Muslim Family, Pastor Come Together To Educate Town On Islam. On Monday at SMSU, Virji will speak again about his experience; he'll be joined again by Rev. Mandy France, a Lutheran pastor. Image: The poster for the event. If you appreciate our posts and original analysis, you can mail contributions (payable to Sally Jo Sorensen, 600 Maple... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2017 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Down column in Jenny Berg's Johnson's refugee moratorium fails,we read this tidbit: At the last meeting, council member Jeff Goerger introduced resolution "in support of a just and welcoming community" to refute Johnson's resolution calling for a moratorium on refugee resettlement. That resolution passed on a 5-1 vote, with Johnson opposing. Council member George Hontos was absent at the Oct. 23 meeting, but spoke about both resolutions Monday. He also seconded Johnson's resolution, which allowed it be discussed by the City Council. Hontos said he is disappointed council members have not wanted to talk about the impact of refugees in... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2017 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Much hullabaloo was raised (quite rightly) over St. Cloud city council member Jeff Johnson's proposed moratorium on refugee resettlement in the Granite City. (Johnson was last seen in Bluestem's copy as one of two elected officials to grace the stage of the Willmar Trump rally described in our post Anti-refugee 2-time loser & pals organize Trump rally; Miller, Franson & "Jim Newberg" to speak). Johnson's notion prompted the other St. Cloud council members to affirm support for welcoming refugees. But Johnson appears to want to move his moratorium forward, despite the lack of support from council colleagues and area elected... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2017 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
At the Star Tribune, Adam Belz and Emma Nelson report on fundraising in the Minneapolis mayoral and city council races in the article More than $1.8 million pours into Minneapolis mayoral race, including this: Campaign finance reports showed that the Minneapolis Works political action committee (PAC), a downtown business-backed group that has focused its energy on City Council races and was blasted over the weekend by DFL state legislators as “right wing money,” has raised $111,000. . . . What the article doesn't mention is the spending by the committee, which has proven to be a boon to one Greater... Continue reading
Posted Nov 1, 2017 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
While the Pioneer Press slapped the rather clueless headline, Who knew roadside ditch-mowing was so controversial in outstate MN?, on a recent Don Davis article, there's been plenty of reporting on this issue in the past few years. At the Prairie and Lakes Echo Journal, for instance, Mike Rahn writes in his column, Inside the Outdoors: What to do about ditches?: . . . Simply put, my wife and I were struck by the fact that ditch mowing here seemed to have no pressing purpose. Perhaps mowing a narrow strip at the very top of the shoulder might improve visibility... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2017 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
On Thursday, President Trump declared a public health emergency over opioids, the New York Times reported in Trump Declares Opioid Crisis a ‘Health Emergency’ but Requests No Funds. The Guardian reported in Health experts say Trump's opioid response relies on magical thinking: When Donald Trump directed his administration to declare America’s opioid overdose crisis a public health emergency, Republicans swiftly praised his “bold national leadership”. But with no new funding, many public health experts and state officials said it was “magical thinking” to imagine that the declaration would stem the tide of opioid overdoses that has already killed 183,000. .... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2017 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
A friend who is deeply engaged in clean energy policy creation and organizing has long praised the Mankato-based School Sisters of Notre Dame, who run Good Counsel Academy in the Key City. His faith is well-placed, an article in the latest Mankato Free Press reveals. Veteran reporter Mark Fischenich writes in Nuns bring another solar array to Mankato: When a developer suggested in 2015 that the Mankato-based School Sisters of Notre Dame sign up as a subscriber for the power generated by a planned solar array in the area, the nuns had a more ambitious idea: build the array on... Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2017 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
It takes a while for the Pony Express to bring news of Minneapolis politics to Bluestem's new headquarters in the pastoral splendors of Summit, South Dakota, so we're a bit behind the curve on an astonishing change of heart on the part of the Minnesota Jobs Coalition. For years, Bluestem has watched this Republican front group attack rural Minnesota DFL state legislators for being too kind to Minneapolis.It has also criticized Governor Mark Dayton and Lt. Governor Tina Smith for living in Minneapolis. Oh, the horror. Now, it's been tapped to launder corporate contributions that can't be sent directly to... Continue reading
Posted Oct 23, 2017 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
The refusal of Minnesota House Republicans to acknowledge the reality of climate change is well known. That being the case, Bluestem's left to wonder how the caucus reacted to recent statements from the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association blaming poor water quality in the Minnesota River on climate change. The caucus thumbed its nose at climate scientists in a roll call vote in 2015, in which 71 of 72 House Republicans voted no to "an amendment during debate on the House Jobs and Energy omnibus bill that asked the Minnesota legislature to acknowledge climate change is real and is caused by... Continue reading
Posted Oct 21, 2017 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Things aren't going so well in the courts for Joseph Francis Fernkes, who wasn't Minnesota Nice to some Somali youth selling vegetables at the Willmar Farmers Market last summer. At the West Central Tribune, Anne Polta reports in Two more charges filed in pig's foot incident: Two more charges have been filed against a Willmar man accused of throwing a pig's foot onto a farmers market stall operated by Somali vendors. Joseph Francis Fernkes, 61, was originally cited for misdemeanor disorderly conduct in connection with the Aug. 12 incident. According to a formal criminal complaint filed late last week, he... Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2017 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
North Mankato city council member John Freyberg told a local radio station he isn't upset with mean comments from a citizen, but rather is distressed by accusations against a city staff member. In short, he is so not a snowflake. Freyberg shared his explanation with KTOE radio. Read and listen to his remarks in North Mankato councilman says he left meeting due to angst from personnel accusations: North Mankato Councilman Bob Freyberg walked out of Monday evenings meeting after accusations of sexual harassment and a hostile work environment at the City. Landlord and former County Attorney Nancy Evans recommended on... Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2017 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Born in Mankato, Bluestem's editor expects Southern Minnesotans to be stoic stalwarts able to cope with blizzards,1965-quality floods and sassy citizens. This is apparently not the case for members of the North Mankato City Council members. At the Mankato Free Press, Trey Mewes reports in Council member walks out of North Mankato meeting as tension mounts: Criticism over the way the North Mankato City Council conducts business reached a boiling point Monday night when Council member Bob Freyberg walked out halfway through the council's public meeting. Two residents called the council out on its recent public comment policy restrictions, as... Continue reading
Posted Oct 17, 2017 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
When we last posted about Minnesota state representative Steve Green, he was in hot water with the Detroit Lake-based president of the Minnesota League of Women Voters. Bluestem surveyed the damage in our August 6 post, MN LWV president chides Rep. Steve Green for disregarding transgender student safety. We can't help but think of Green after reading Cassandra Rohlfing's article on the Detroit Lakes Online site, 17-year-old pushes for equality, DL High School establishes gender neutral bathroom: A Detroit Lakes school will soon have gender neutral bathrooms available for transgender students, or anyone else who needs it and it's thanks... Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2017 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Last week, Heather Carlson reported that Democratic congressional contender Dan Feehan raises $250,000 for 1st District run. Third quarter fundraising reports now on file at the Federal Election Commission reveal that the young veteran led the pack of the contenders for the open seat. Feehan's report shows $204,657.50 in contributions, with $45400.00 transferred from other accounts (the Serve America Victory Fund). Feehan's committee had $199,073.64 in the bank at the end of the quarter. Elsewhere in the DFL field, renewable energy advocate Joe Sullivan brought in a respectable $94834.00 for the quarter that ended on September 30; combined with a... Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2017 at Bluestem Prairie