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Sally Jo Sorensen
Sally Sorensen, an independent blogger, lives and works in rural Minnesota.
Recent Activity
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We posted about the Legacy agreement in Sydney Jordan: Here's our Legacy agreement on June 5. On Friday, June 11, Session Daily's Rob hubbard reported in Legacy agreement reached and ready for the special session: Among the 13 conference committees tasked with forging compromises between what passed the House and Senate this year, only one knew months ago how much money it would be disbursing: the Legacy committee. That’s because its funds aren’t tied to any particular budget target or federal influx of cash. It’s simply the revenue collected from 0.375% of state sales taxes. That’s what Minnesota voters decided... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Bluestem Prairie
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We last posted about the Chronic Wasting Disease version of hell in Beltrami County in our post Emerging Issues LCCMR proposal addresses CWD prions at Beltrami deer carcass dump site on Tuesday There's more coverage of the Beltrami County (CWD) carcass dumping in Tony Kennedy's Deer farming drives predicament over CWD-infested dump site on public land in the Star Tribune's Outdoor section: Minnesota officials are scrambling on several fronts to fight against the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in northern deer herds where the always fatal neurological disease has traveled to Beltrami County by virtue of commercial deer farming.... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Bluestem Prairie
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For pictures of the individual water protectors interviewed below, please visit the Minnesota Reformer. From near and far: Meet the ‘water protectors’ protesting Enbridge’s Line 3 By Rilyn Eischens, June 10, 2021 Minnesota Reformer People opposed to Enbridge’s Line 3 in northern Minnesota remained camped out at one of the pipeline’s Mississippi River crossings for the third day Wednesday. The encampment was set up Monday as part of a three-day event called the Treaty People Gathering, intended to peacefully disrupt construction of the pipeline and to fight for the 19th-century treaties giving Indigenous people the right to hunt, fish and... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
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In a 20 page order for judgement dated June 7, district court judge Joseph F. Chase dismissed Interchange owner Lisa Hanson's counterclaims against the State. We embed the document at the bottom of this post. Quite a read. Like all of the documents in the case, the document announcing the judgement is available via the relatively new Minnesota Court Records Online (MCRO) system. The access portal for MCRO is here. The user needs a court case number to locate a case. On page 13, Judge Joseph Chase observes: I mean no disrespect to Ms. Hanson who is plainly a person... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
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After the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) approved the Minnesota Center for Prion Research and Outreach's Emerging Issues LCCMR proposal addresses CWD prions at Beltrami deer carcass dump site, Chair Rick Hansen, DFL-South St. Paul, raised the topic of the LCCMR's next meeting. He suggested June 17, only to hear from Senators Torrey Westrom, R-Elbow Lake, and Bill Ingebrigtsen, R-Alexandria, that the special session, now scheduled for June 14, would last through the end of June. Watching the Facebook video embedded below, we were reminded of a Tim Pugmire story at Minnesota Radio, Clean car rules still a sticking... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
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We were out doing more heat stroke lawn care and garden work and so missed the Facebook livestream of Tuesday's Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) meeting. Fortunately, a reader sent a twitter direct message that "The Senate GOP is saying session will go until end of June." That's newsworthy, as is her note that the beginning of the hearing was about Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). We'll create a separate post about the Senate Republicans observations. First the CWD items from the agenda: Action: Emerging Issues Proposal Environmental Assessment of CWD Prions at the Beltrami County Deer Carcass Dump Site,... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
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As we mow our lawns and tend vegetable gardens here in Summit, we're noticing many butterflies on the dame's rocket we let grow and the dogwood blossoms. The neighbor Mike hired to mow his orchard stopped and photographed many native bees and some honeybees feasting on the flowering shrubs Mike planted for pollinators. That action is hopeful in a place where many neighbors don't know that milkweed is the only plant upon which monarch caterpillars can feed. That's surprising to me, since I grew up in a rural Minnesota where parents and neighbors made the connection between habitat and fodder... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
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We've been looking for updates on budget negotiations, and Minneapolis DFL state representative Sydney Jordan provided the goods on twitter in the most delightful way. Here's our agreement. You can see where the House and Senate started with our omnibus bills and where we were able to find common ground in the end. https://t.co/S6DZliGRAw#mnleg — Sydney Jordan (@SydneyJordanMN) June 4, 2021 For the bill language: Posted the spreadsheet above but here's the actual bill language for those document loving souls: https://t.co/ml9DATpvb6 — Sydney Jordan (@SydneyJordanMN) June 4, 2021 Some highlights: As we grapple with the discovery of mass graves at... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
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We've been catching up with our gardening-- in a year in which we covered plants from a late May freeze and now struggle with dry heat in the 90s. Fortunately, we got out of the sun to read interesting stories and social media. Here's a digest for readers. Duluth News Tribune: Wood turtles declining in Minnesota We've been covering the effort to ban commercial turtle harvests in Minnesota, a good policy measure since turtles are very slow to reach maturity and reproduce. One turtle that's not harvested? The wood turtle. At the Duluth News Tribune, John Myers reports in Wood... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2021 at Bluestem Prairie
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Yesterday we posted MN DNR temporarily bans movement of farmed whitetails in state to protect wild deer health. Today, via the Detroit Lakes Tribune, Dan Gunderson of Minnesota Public Radio reports in Deer farmers reject DNR's emergency rule pausing movement of deer amid CWD spread: The trade organization that represents Minnesota’s deer farmers pushed back Wednesday, June 3, against an emergency order that halts the movement of deer from farm to farm. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on Tuesday imposed a statewide ban on the movement of farmed white-tailed deer, continuing through the end of July. The ban... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2021 at Bluestem Prairie
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An interesting poll and analysis from South Dakota News Watch's Bart Pfankuch in Poll Part 3: South Dakotans support ballot initiative process and oppose lawmaker interference: Many South Dakotans feel that democracy is not working very well in America right now, but those same people are highly supportive of their own right to make law directly from the voting booth. According to a recent statewide poll, a wide majority of South Dakota residents supports the citizen-led ballot-initiative process as a way to make laws or change the state constitution, and a significant majority said they don’t want the state Legislature... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2021 at Bluestem Prairie
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Last month, we posted about the heightening concerns about Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in 5 more MN deer farm herds exposed to CWD; Beltrami carcass dump site inquiry continues and News release: U of M testing finds presence of CWD prions at Beltrami Co. carcass dump site. Just in from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, DNR to protect wild deer health through temporary ban on movement of farmed deer in Minnesota: Emergency action will provide time to understand connections between known CWD-positive farms and prevent additional transfer from potentially exposed farms The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2021 at Bluestem Prairie
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I've written before about my maternal uncle John D. Osborne, an Army staff sergeant who was killed by German S.S. Panzer troops as a prisoner of war at Malmedy during the Battle of the Bulge. He was born and raised in Watonwan County, but he's buried in the national cemetery at Ft. Snelling. While many Americans thank all of those who have served this country on Memorial Day, I'm pretty old school and on this day commemorate those men and women who gave their lives in military service. Here's the late Canadian singer and songwriter Leonard Cohen reciting the beloved... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2021 at Bluestem Prairie
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Upper Midwesterners are used to seeing Democratic Senator Tina Smith and uber-Republican Governor Kristi Noem go after the same targets, but that's the state of America's beef processing industry in 2021. From the Minnesota Reformer's Ricardo Lopez, Sen. Tina Smith signs on to letter requesting DOJ antitrust investigation into beef processing industry: U.S. Sen. Tina Smith has signed on to a letter asking the Justice Department to investigate whether four large beef processors have a monopoly on meat processing that some members of Congress say is leading to high retail beef prices. Led by South Dakota Republican Sen. Michael Rounds,... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2021 at Bluestem Prairie
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We're still running behind in getting our gardens in (and covering some plants in advance of last night's freeze), as well as looking at some leads requiring more in-depth research. Here's a brief digest of Minnesota and South Dakota environmental and natural resource news we think our readers will find interesting. Roseville DFLer Jamie Becker-Finn leadership At the Star Tribune, C.B. Bylander reports in Outdoors grant recipients try to empower Minnesotans of different experience levels, colors and ages: Money matters. And these days you can see its impact throughout Minnesota thanks to two grant programs that get children, teens and... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2021 at Bluestem Prairie
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In the pastoral placebaiting practiced by some folks in rural Minnesota, rural leaders have a clearer view of how people in the Evil Metro should live. An object lesson about the flaw in this story appeared late Tuesday in the Mankato Free Press online. In 2017, the late lamented City Pages reported about a tweet then Rice County Sheriff's Sergeant Thomas McBroom posted about Diamond Reynolds, Philando Castile's girlfriend. While the original reporting by Susan Du is offline, readers can learn more about the story in Michael Harriot's column at The Root, City Councilman and Sheriff’s Deputy Tweets Racist Response... Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2021 at Bluestem Prairie
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Back in April, we posted BAH: Southern Minnesota CWD investigation identifies new infection in Beltrami County . That location turned up again in May 18's News release: U of M testing finds presence of CWD prions at Beltrami Co. carcass dump site, from the University of Minnesota. Just in from the Minnesota Animal Board of Health, which has oversight of farmed cervidae in the North Star state, "Additional CWD positives and illegal carcass disposal spur expanded investigation and response in Beltrami County." And the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has issued its own news release, "DNR stresses urgency in addressing... Continue reading
Posted May 25, 2021 at Bluestem Prairie
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Earlier today, we wrote a nostalgia post, MNGOP House candidates & county's COVID-19-Holocaust analogies prefigured Greene's views. A report about Minnesota's Seventh District by Tom Lyden at Fox9 News, Grassroots or Astroturf? Congressional candidate says he was tricked into running by RNC strategist, prompts another review of our back pages. (It is, after all, Bob Dylan's 80th birthday). Blind and permanently disabled, Kevin Ne Se Shores is accustomed to navigating life’s obstacles, but it has never stopped him from pursuing his third-party political ambitions. Still, he was surprised by the unsolicited call he got in June of 2020 from a... Continue reading
Posted May 24, 2021 at Bluestem Prairie
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We're seeing a lot of justified condemnation of Georgia United States Representative Marion Taylor Greene's comparison of pandemic restrictions to the Holocaust. The Washington Post--and others--report: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) is being widely lambasted for comparing the continuing coronavirus restrictions in the U.S. Capitol to what Jewish people suffered during the Holocaust, when millions were killed by Nazis. Many readers may recognize that these sentiments are not unique or original to Greene; indeed, they cropped on the city council and county party level. Via the Mesabi Tribune, Evan Frost reported for Minnesota Public Radio in Jewish groups seek Minnesota... Continue reading
Posted May 24, 2021 at Bluestem Prairie
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A very late planting season here in the Sisseton Hills, with low soil temperatures, has pushed our garden planting and spring lawn care into crunch time. With the sudden rain and high temperatures, we're hoping to find some wild mushrooms, too. I'm taking a break on posting for a few days, but will be back on Monday, May 24. Enjoy the outdoors and warm weather! Photo: Tater plant in straw mulch. If you appreciate Bluestem Prairie, you can mail contributions (payable to Sally Jo Sorensen, 600 Maple Street, Summit SD 57266) or use the paypal button in the upper right... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2021 at Bluestem Prairie
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After listening to Jake Duesenberg's Mort's Caucus of One: Action 4 Liberty interview interview with Erik Mortensen, R-Shakopee,we turned our attention to Mortensen's appearance on Chilling with Redbeard, aka Chad Rafdal. Who is Redbeard? Who's Mortensen's host? Rafdal runs Minnesotans4Freedom, a patriots group which is organizing " We The People" meetings across rural Minnesota; we've watched videos from "We The People" gatherings in Waldolf, Owatonna, Rochester and Blooming Prairie with Minnesota House members Jeremy Munson, R-Lake Crystal; John Petersburg, R-Owatonna; Peggy Bennett, R-Albert Lea; and Patty Mueller, R-Austin. One recently added Minnesotan4Freedom goal is to build campaigns to grab party... Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2021 at Bluestem Prairie
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Yesterday we reported on the parting of the New House Republican Caucus--Cal Bahr, Steve Drazkowski, Tim Miller and Jeremy Miller--in two posts, Tabke: New House Republican Caucus and newer member state rep Erik Mortensen part company and Could letters against Minnesota House GOP members have something to do with Mortensen's exclusion from old Republican caucus? We missed the Facebook interview below, with first-term Shakopee Republican Erik Mortensen and Jake Duesenberg of Action 4 Liberty. In Wednesday morning's Daily Reformer newsletter, Minnesota Reformer editor J. Patrick Coolican writes: Do you have an hour to spend listening to state Rep. Erik Mortensen... Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2021 at Bluestem Prairie
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We're taking some time away from the unfolding story of the mysterious ailment afflicting a significant part of the body of the Minnesota House to post a press release from the University of Minnesota Center for Prion Research and Outreach. This research center is one reason it's important for the Minnesota legislature to pass a budget-- as noted in the news release: . . . Further testing of the carcass samples in-hand, as well as future collection and testing of additional samples from the carcass site, is dependent on MNPRO receiving additional funding. . . . MNPRO’s research is supported... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2021 at Bluestem Prairie
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We're not close enough to know what ticked off the Minnesota New House Republican Caucus to part ways with Representative Erik Mortensen, R- Shakopee, as we reported in Tabke: New House Republican Caucus and newer member state rep Erik Mortensen part company. We'll wait for caucus leader Steve Drazkowski to explain. And while we're not close enough to know exactly why the New Republicans are so mad, we can understand Daudt's reluctance to take Mortensen back into the regular old Republican fold. Consider the fruits of a letter-to-the editor writing campaign in Republican House districts across the state; in each... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2021 at Bluestem Prairie
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We're never sure about material from an opponent in a political campaign, but a change in the New House Republican Caucus Facebook page banner suggests that information tweeted by former state representative Brad Tabke is accurate. Apparently, Erik Mortensen is no longer a member of the New House Republican Caucus. Mortensen defeated Tabke last November in a three candidate race graced by a cannabis party member. Above, we've posted a screenshot of the image at the top of that page. Immediately below, what we saw this morning on that page: [UPDATE 5/18, 1:43 p.m.] We just received this screenshot of... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2021 at Bluestem Prairie