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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 October, the Rochester Post Bulletin reported Court sends Daley decision back to MPCA over greenhouse gas issue. There's more about the lawsuit in Winona Daily News Court of Appeals to hear LSP, MCEA lawsuit against state agency The MCEA posted Court of Appeals deals an obstacle into Daley Farms expansion permit on its Loon Commons blog; Matt Doll wrote in October: On Monday, October 14 the Minnesota Court of Appeals made a significant ruling in the case of Daley Farms, a Winona County dairy operation proposing to more than double the number of animals in its feed lot. Issuing... Continue reading
Posted 3 hours ago at Bluestem Prairie
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UPDATE 1/22: We contacted the Hibbing Daily Tribune and received this gracious and professional reply from Carrie Manners: Thank you so much for reaching out. As our goal is always to provide accurate reporting, we reviewed the footage and our notes and agree there was an error and the placement of that error was unfortunate and by no means intentional. We have updated the article online with the correction (you may have to refresh your browser several times for the updated version to load). We also published a note apologizing for the error. As you know, accurate, unbiased journalism is... Continue reading
Posted 9 hours ago at Bluestem Prairie
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Since we've been posting about CWD in Minnesota, we pass this press release from the Minnesota Department of Resource on to our readers, Extensive sampling of wild deer in 2019 shows that CWD remains biggest concern in southeastern Minnesota: January 21, 2020 During the 2019 hunting season and special hunts, chronic wasting disease was confirmed in 27 wild deer, all from southeastern Minnesota. CWD was not detected in wild deer in central and north-central Minnesota. “Overall, this is good news for Minnesota’s wild deer. The disease is still relatively rare across the state, and the CWD-positive test results this year... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Bluestem Prairie
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In Citizens air their opinions, Karen Reisner reports for the Fillmore County Journal: Todd Froberg, DNR, updated the board on the efforts to control CWD in Fillmore County.Twenty dumpsters are located in southeast Minnesota for depositing deer parts in an effort to reduce the risk presented by CWD-infected carcasses remaining on the landscape. Twenty-eight taxidermists in CWD zones agreed to collect samples for testing (seven positives to date). The disease is persisting in Fillmore County, especially in the Preston/Lanesboro area. Fifty-eight percent of the positives have been found in this core area. Disease has also been found in Winona and... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
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We were impressed when, earlier this month, Democratic presidential contender Michael Bloomberg visited a farm in Faribault County to learn about struggling farmers and participated in the roundtable discussion (pictured above) for an audience of very larger farm machinery. Coverage of struggling farmers continued this weekend, with the latest narrative appearing in the Star Tribune, which includes a map that demonstrates acreage, not farm equipment, votes. The struggle is real. In Minnesota farmers struggling with low prices amid tariffs weigh their support for Trump, we were surprised to read this: It's going to take years to get it back,” Nate... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
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A trio of environmental stories caught our attention the past week. EWG report on nitrates in drinking water A national group summoned up its own report on Friday: A new EWG analysis found that half a million Minnesotans drink tap water contaminated with elevated levels of nitrate from agricultural pollution. The innovative report mapped the locations and levels for nitrate in Minnesota’s public water systems and private household wells. “Many years of unaddressed nitrate from farm pollution have brought Minnesota to the brink of a public health crisis,” said Sarah Porter, senior GIS analyst with EWG and one of the... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
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We've got to hand it to the conservative online site Alpha News. In order to squeeze the recent shooting of a highly respected young Waseca police officer Arik Matson into Minnesota Republicans' narrative frame that portrays the Evil Metro as a hotbed of crime, it's invented a new neigborhood: the "greater Twin Cities community." John Lucke reports in Police Officer is recovering with support from community after being shot in head: Officer Arik Matson of Waseca, MN, is receiving support from many different groups in the greater Twin Cities community after he was shot in the head while responding to... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
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Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka's had a rough news day. Off the bat, Ricardo Lopez at the Minnesota Reformer reported about various crinkles in the Brainerd Lakes-area lawmaker's worldview in Senate leader tells televangelist he’s in a ‘spiritual battle’. Some classic placebaiting in that spiritual battle, as well as the usual anti-queer folx material. We found another mouth-dropper in Gabriel D. Lagarde's article, Gazelka cites bonding, tax relief, infrastructure as primary issues in 2020 session, in Thursday's Brainerd Dispatch: Now with some experience in negotiation with Gov. Tim Walz after years haggling with former Gov. Mark Dayton, Gazelka said... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
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Bluestem Prairie doesn't often say pleasant things about state representative Tim Miller, New Republican-Prinsburg, but a recent Facebook post by Willmar's anti-refugee, anti-Muslim speaker, twice unsuccessful city council member candidate, and 2017 pro-Trump rally organizer Bob Enos deserves pushback. Enos posted this dig on his Facebook page: We noticed first of all that the focus of the Community Integration Center (CIC) cover photo (we offer a cropped screenshot at the top of the page) isn't Miller--who is behind two figures on the left- but two women at the center of the photo. One is Cherie Miller, a highly respected Medical... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
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Blue Earth County District 4 Commissioner Will Purvis will not seek re-election in November, the rural Vernon Center public servant said in a phone interview on Wednesday. We had received a tip from a reader who had heard Purvis share his intentions at the most recent county Soil and Water Board meeting. "I believe in term limits," he told Bluestem Prairie. Purvis was first elected to a four-year term in 2006, according to his campaign website. He serves Amboy, Good Thunder, Lake Crystal, Mankato Precinct 1 and 3, Vernon Center, and Cambria, Butternut Valley, Lincoln, Ceresco, Pleasant Mound, Judson, Garden... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
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We recently posted about the Minneota Department of Natural Resource's Chronic Wasting Disease emergency rule in MN DNR emergency rule prohibits all movement of farmed white-tailed deer for next 30 days and MN DNR Report: Emergency Response to Disease Outbreaks in Wildlife; or, Chronic Wasting Disease activities & spending. Now the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association has come out in support of the action, as well as urging changes to the Board of Animal Health. Roseville Democratic state representative Jamie Becker-Finn tweeted a copy of the letter: MN Deer Hunters Association issued letter today in support of @mndnr emergency action to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2020 at Bluestem Prairie
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A week ago, Beltrami Co. [became] the first in state to reject refugee resettlement, Minnesota Public Radio reported. The Pioneer Press noted the response in Boycott Bemidji? Beltrami County’s vote to ban refugees stirs a backlash. The StarTribune looked at the county in Some residents say refugees would just make Beltrami County's struggles worse. State Representative Jamie Becker-Finn, DFL-Roseville, grew up in Beltrami County. She shared her thoughts on her campaign Facebook page. We repost it here with her permission. I grew up in Beltrami County, Ten Lake Township to be exact. The land I grew up on is also... Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2020 at Bluestem Prairie
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While Minnesota's state senate Republican majority isn't about to regulate prescription drug prices within the North Star State--perish the big government socialism or so the talking point goes, they're perfectly cool importing drugs from a country where lower prices are the consequence of government regulations. In Monday's caucus website statement, Senate Republicans roll out “Vision 2020” agenda, we learn of the Senate Republican solution for the insulin crisis, as well as other expense prescription drugs: In 2020, the Senate will look at further reducing drug costs with a drug reimportation program so patients can get cheaper Canadian drug prices at... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2020 at Bluestem Prairie
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On Monday evening in Austin, Minnesota, state representative Peggy Bennett, R-Albert Lea, the MN027A GOP challenger Mueller For Minnesota and Senate District 27 Republican candidate Gene Dornink For Minnesota are hosting Resist the Comprehensive Sex Education Bill. On her Representative Peggy Bennett page, the veteran lawmaker and retired teacher posted on Sunday: Friends, tomorrow (Monday) evening at 6PM at the Austin, MN Senior Center, I will be speaking at an educational event about Comprehensive Sex Education (CSE.) I will be joined by some other experts on this subject as well. CSE is being pushed by a number of legislators and... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2020 at Bluestem Prairie
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On Friday, we posted Douglas County deer farm investigation leads to discovery of Pine County captive doe CWD case. That's not all the chronic wasting disease news in Minnesota. On Saturday, the Star Tribune's Tony Kennedy reported in CWD, lower walleye limit on agendas at Capitol: State lawmakers attuned to hunting and fishing will revisit chronic wasting disease (CWD) next month when they return to St. Paul for a session that could also touch on lake impairments, a new walleye limit and youth programs. “There’s lots to talk about,” said Rep. Rick Hansen, D-South St. Paul. Like Hansen, Senate committee... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2020 at Bluestem Prairie
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Minnesota Public Radio reports in CWD reported in captive deer in Pine County: A captive deer at a farm in east-central Minnesota has tested positive for chronic wasting disease, in a case linked to another CWD discovery last month. The Minnesota Board of Animal Health said Friday that a doe at a farm in Pine County tested positive for the fatal brain disease. Last month's CWD case was in western Minnesota's Douglas County. After that report, state officials "identified the Pine County herd as high priority early in our investigation because our records showed it provided deer to the Douglas... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2020 at Bluestem Prairie
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As a newcomer to South Dakota, we're still a bit puzzled by the state's exceptionalism. Take, for instance, the last paragraph in this passage in Thursday's Brookings Register article, Smith wants ‘wildlife-habitat stamp’, reported by John Kubal: The senator does plan to introduce and champion a bill of his own, driven by his being “a pheasant hunter every year for the past 50 years.” By way of background, Smith explained that precision agriculture practiced by a smarter generation of ranchers and farmers has meant there “are not many inches of ground that do not go unused out there. And with... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2020 at Bluestem Prairie
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In the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, Lisa Kaczke reports in Gov. Kristi Noem drops her opposition to legalizing hemp, seeks compromise with lawmakers: South Dakota lawmakers are ready to work with Gov. Kristi Noem on industrial hemp legislation after she indicated she's ready to compromise. Noem has staunchly opposed legalizing industrial hemp for nearly a year, but in a memo to legislators on Thursday, she listed four regulations that need to be in an industrial hemp bill for her to sign it. The four "guardrails" she included in the memo are reliable enforcement, responsible regulation, safe transportation and adequate funding.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2020 at Bluestem Prairie
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We hadn't looked at the Minnesota 7th Congressional District Republican Party Facebook page for a while. A brief visit did not disappoint. Looking forward to President Trump's statement about Iran's missile attacks on two bases in Iraq, the page admin shared a choice rant by Sean Hannity: That aged well. As Fox News staffer Brooke Singman reported after the president's statement, Trump says Iran ‘appears to be standing down,’ missile strikes resulted in no casualties. Fortunately, Minnesota's Seventh Congressional District Republicans still have a chance to exercise their bellicose tendencies. The Otter Tail County Republican Party is hosting a congressional... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2020 at Bluestem Prairie
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In Minnesota Public Radio's story Michael Bloomberg to visit Minnesota Wednesday, Brian Bakst reports: Michael Bloomberg is making his first Minnesota appearance as a presidential candidate with a stop at a soybean farm Wednesday. Bloomberg has been airing TV ads in heavy rotation since his late entry into the Democratic nomination contest. The billionaire businessman and former New York City mayor has concentrated on states that will vote on "Super Tuesday" in the first week in March. His campaign says he'll visit a farm in Wells, west of Albert Lea. He plans to hold a roundtable and discuss his economic... Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2020 at Bluestem Prairie
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In the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, Lisa Kaczke reports in South Dakotans to vote on legalizing recreational marijuana on November ballot: South Dakotans will decide whether to legalize recreational marijuana at the ballot box in November. The South Dakota Secretary of State's Office announced on Monday that it has validated the initiated constitutional amendment, which will appear on the 2020 ballot as Constitutional Amendment A. The office deemed more than 36,000 petition signatures valid based on a random sample. If passed, it would legalize marijuana and require the Legislature to pass laws regarding hemp, including laws to ensure access to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2020 at Bluestem Prairie
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In a 2016 Smithsonian Magazine article, The Story Behind a Forgotten Symbol of the American Revolution: The Liberty Tree, Erick Trickey writes: . . . Throughout these early years before the revolution, the ancient elm across from the distillery became Massachusetts’ most potent symbol of revolt. In the decade before the Revolutionary War, images of the Liberty Tree, as it became known, spread across New England and beyond: colonists christened other Liberty Trees in homage to the original. Yet unlike Boston’s other revolutionary landmarks, such as the Old North Church and Faneuil Hall, the Liberty Tree is nearly forgotten today.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2020 at Bluestem Prairie
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Some readers from Kandiyohi County may know Commissioner Steve Ahmann from personal experience. Other readers may remember learning about Ahmann in our October 23 post, Kandiyohi Co Commish Ahmann only MN elected to sign Say No to Interfaith Dialogue declaration. After other media outlets reported on his name's presence on the list, it was removed. Fortunately, we had kept a screengrab created while his name was still on the document. Ahmann was one of two Kandiyohi County commissioners to vote against allowing refugees to be resettled in the county, as we reported on December 3 in Kandiyohi County Commissioners consent... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2020 at Bluestem Prairie
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At the Morrison County Record, Amanda Rasinski reports in Randall recognized for water quality improvement efforts: The city of Randall was one of only 15 in the country to receive a 2019 Aquarius recognition award [link added] for their drinking water improvement efforts. The program recognizes cities that funded their projects through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) [link added]. . .. Chad Kolstad, DWSRF program coordinator from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), applied for the recognition on behalf of the city. He said the Aquarius program is a way for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to acknowledge... Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2020 at Bluestem Prairie
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The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources notes in Lawns to Legumes: Your Yard Can BEE the Change: The Lawns to Legumes program offers a combination of workshops, coaching, planting guides and cost-share funding for installing pollinator-friendly native plantings in residential lawns. The program also includes a public education campaign to raise awareness for pollinator habitat projects and will establish demonstration neighborhoods that showcase best practices. Partners include Blue Thumb - Planting for Clean Water and Metro Blooms. Funding is provided through the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF) and will be targeted in priority areas to benefit... Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2020 at Bluestem Prairie