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 reader recently asked via email where in the process were Minnesota's pollinator critical habitat license plates: . . . I was curious where pollinator plate is at in the process of being approved, or which one was selected by the public. I am reaching out because your email was the only one attached to the website I had seen. We're assuming he read a post like this February 2017 item: Vote for new pollinator critical habitat license plate; online poll closes Tues. Feb. 7 at 5 p.m. After we explained that we had only reported about the contest, but... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Update: We've slightly altered the headline, putting quotation marks around the word "bullies," which we meant to use ironically. A reader questioned the headline construction and we hope this slight clarification helps. Update, July 20, 2:09: There may be more sides to this story than the one Rep. Miller is sharing. From the Facebook page of Big Stone County photographer and former Clara City newspaper editor John G. White: Earlier today I shared a post from Bluestem Prairie concerning a political rally at Hinterland Vineyard. This led to a conversation with Aric, the owner, thanks to Lee Kanten, and I... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
In our earlier posts, Nystrom: Novo Nordisk hired lobbyists to kill 2019 Alec Smith Emergency Insulin Act and Gazelka claims diabetes advocate didn't contact him. Then says calls came at "busy stretch", Bluestem has been providing our take on reporting about Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka's walking back his claims about Nystrom's veracity. Gazelka had speculated that "political opponents might be using the Alec Smith Emergency Insulin Act as a disingenuous ploy..." Now her father cuts to the heart of the matter in Reader Opinion: The time is now: Diabetes is not a political position. Democrats and Republicans are... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
In Nystrom: Novo Nordisk hired lobbyists to kill 2019 Alec Smith Emergency Insulin Act, Bluestem reported: Bluestem recalls reading the registration of two lobbyists by the insulin behemoth on the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board: Ben Golnik and David Moody (designated lobbyist). Both individuals registered in March. Novo Nordisk is Moody's only client and his email is a Novo Nordisk address; in 2010, Moody gave $175 to the Kandiyohi County DFL.**see update below . . . Update 7/14/2019, 12:34 a.m.:A reader writes to tell us that a David Moody has been the treasurer of the Kandiyohi County DFL... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Update July 20, 2019: The event has been moved to the Montevideo American Legion. For details on Representative Miller's decision, visit our post Tim Miller moves fundraiser to the Montevideo American Legion because bullies urge boycott. [end update] Via a July 9 Facebook post on state representative Tim Miller's personal page (graphic here on his campaign page), we learned that fellow New House Republican Caucus member Steve Drazkowski will highlight an August 1 fundraiser for Citizens for Tim Miller, the Prinsburg New Republican's campaign committee. Drazkowski will present "The Case Against Congresswoman Ilhan Omar" to the gathering throng at the... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Earlier this month, we looked at the Brainerd Dispatch's coverage of the politics of insulin costs in Nystrom: Novo Nordisk hired lobbyists to kill 2019 Alec Smith Emergency Insulin Act. One remarkable statement in Gabriel D. Lagarde's coverage at the Dispatch? This comment by Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa: Speculating that political opponents might be using the Alec Smith Emergency Insulin Act as a disingenuous ploy, Gazelka noted it can take years for legislation to pass the finish line in some cases. Even emotionally charged or divisive bills, such as those pertaining to preventing traffic fatalities, can fail... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Bluestem Prairie
Image
After a day of errands in Watertown and Sisseton, Bluestem thought we'd explore recent coverage of pollinators in Minnesota's media. Perhaps the most surprising--or not surprising at all when we think about it--discovery is the common coverage of pollinator concern across the state. For instance, the Osakis Review ran copy from Todd County Soil and Water Conservation District in Don't forget about the bees: Birds and deer are often the objective as to why a landowner seeks out a conservation planting on their property. On top of species specific wildlife, soil, and water benefits, we can often forget about species... Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2019 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Reading Gabriel LaGarde' story, Nystrom lambastes state GOP for not passing insulin act, but Gazelka pushes back against allegations, posted Friday night at 9:00 p.m, we paused at this passage: Nystrom alleges Novo Nordisk -- one of the largest insulin manufacturers in the world -- made a concerted effort to derail bipartisan legislation in session, hiring lobbyists and spending large sums of money in March to persuade members of the GOP to kill the bill. Bluestem recalls reading the registration of two lobbyists by the insulin behemoth on the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board: Ben Golnik and David... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2019 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
When she's not talking tough about meth, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem touts South Dakota's pastoral low-crime paradise. Sadly, the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports paint a much different picture. In KDLT's Young Farmers Voice Their Concerns About an Uncertain Future, Brandon Green reports that Noem said: Governor Noem wanted to use the panel as a call to action for young farmers to continue the strong farming culture in South Dakota. “Our rural way of life is special. It leads to better support, more success, and obviously less crime and struggle; we see that in South Dakota. But it can also... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2019 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
On July 4, Duluth DFL state representative and Minnesota House Majority Whip Liz Olson tweeted: Sunrises across Lake Superior are pretty dreamy, but few things are as magical as a western MInnesota sunset. A wonderful day spent with dear friends on Big Stone Lake. #OnlyinMN pic.twitter.com/aGRt28zZ1Z — Liz Olson (@LizOlson218) July 5, 2019 The next day, Olson met with area Democratic activists at the incomparable Lingonberry's coffee shop in Ortonville, to brief Democrats on the spring's session and how the House DFL stood united on the "Minnesota Values" agenda--as well as discussing the impact of a growing number of women... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2019 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
This morning, we received an unexpected Twitter direct message from Minnesota Zoo conservation biologist Erik Runquist, who happened to be passing through the Lake Traverse Reservation after gathering the rare Dakota skipper butterfly in North Dakota. Runquist (above) had seen Sunday's post, The SWO Lake Traverse Reservation roots of some MN Zoo Dakota skipper butterflies, and seeking to touch base, invited Bluestem and our romantic partner, a Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Dakota elder, out into the field. Though windy, it was a perfect summer day on the Coteau, and the chance to meet Dr. Runquist was our own version of meeting a... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2019 at Bluestem Prairie
Over the week, Molly Korzenowski reported in Minnesota Zoo to release 400 endangered Dakota skipper butterflies: . . .The Hole-in-the-Mountain is a 1,364-acre preserve south of Lake Benton in Lincoln County. When the Nature Conservancy bought the site in the 1970s, butterflies were a common site. Carpeted with wildflowers during the summer, it’s an excellent spot for rare prairie-dependent insects, including about 25 species of butterflies, according to the Conservancy. In an effort to preserve the Dakota skipper, the Minnesota Zoo will release nearly 400 of the butterflies on the preserve. Starting Saturday, screened metal boxes containing butterfly chrysalises will... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2019 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
A source in tiny Vernon Center, Minnesota, population est. 318 in the 2018 Census community survey, sent Bluestem the cell phone photo above, snapped during the tiny town's robust Independence Day parade. While it's hard to make out in the sun-dappled photo, our source said that it depicts former state representative Tony Cornish driving the parade entry for Minnesota state senator Julie Rosen; our source tells us Rosen rode shotgun in the truck. A photo Cornish posted to his Facebook page on July 4 shows him dressed in the same shirt and hat. Moreover, reliable area residents confirmed to our... Continue reading
Posted Jul 5, 2019 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
MinnPost's Glean and other observers are taking note of West Central Tribune reporter Carolyn Lange's coverage of the latest remarks about American agriculture by House Ag committee chair (ranking member when Democrats are out of power), MN07 congressionman Collin Peterson. In Rep. Peterson’s dire predictions for the ag sector, a MinnPost staff member wrote in the afternoon Glean: Plagues of locusts would be a relief. Carolyn Lange of the West Central Tribune covered Rep. Collin Peters on‘s recent talk in Willmar: “He said the ‘chickens are coming home to roost’ for the ag economy, and they may be roosting for... Continue reading
Posted Jul 5, 2019 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
Bluestem is astonished by the resilience of the pheasant species, or at least the ability of Republicans on different sides of the Minnesota-South Dakota border to define state highway right-of-ways as suitable habitat for the non-native game bird. This reflection is prompted by the Keloland headline over the Bob Mercer article, Governor Noem wants warnings issued for mowing early along state highways, as well as the copy: South Dakota doesn’t allow mowing rights of way along state highways east of the Missouri River before July 10 in most instances. This summer, Governor Kristi Noem wants landowners reminded about the regulation,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 4, 2019 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
In yet another case of an independent news organization proving its worth, Christopher Wallperson at the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting reports in JBS a big winner in USDA trade war relief contracts: A Brazilian-owned meat processing company undercut its competition by more than $1 per pound to win nearly $78 million in pork contracts through a federal program launched to help American farmers offset the impact from an ongoing trade war. As a result, JBS USA has won more than 26 percent of the $300 million the USDA has allocated to pork so far – more than any other... Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2019 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
At the Grand Forks Herald, North Dakota Outdoors columnist Doug Leier writes in State and federal partners work to benefit monarch butterfly populations: Last month, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was scheduled to determine whether the monarch butterfly warranted listing as an endangered species. That didn’t happen, not because the North American monarch population suddenly improved dramatically, but because the deadline for this important decision was extended for about 18 months, to Dec. 15, 2020. With the additional time, biologists from the Fish and Wildlife Service and other organizations will continue to collect information on the monarch’s status. A... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2019 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
In a letter to Detroit Lakes' newspaper, Wolf, bear populations need to be controlled, state representative Steve Green, R-Fosston, writes: . . . Over-population of animals has reduced their fear of humans. Only last week a black bear was not 50 feet away from my grandchildren who were playing in their yard. Although I could not get a confirmation, I have been informed the DNR has transplanted around 300 bears from the metro area to northern Minnesota. . . . In response to our tweet, John Harrington responded: According to this, MNDNR doesn't relocate nuisance bears https://t.co/2YAdE02duu https://t.co/yUEw4fUCQl — John... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2019 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
In Saturday's Rochester Post Bulletin, Matthew Stowe reports in Hagedorn meets a restive crowd in town hall: Perhaps the angriest response from his critics came when Hagedorn was asked about the family separations at the border. Asked about how he could justify government-sponsored child abuse, Hagedorn said he disagreed with that characterization. "These are not concentration camps," Hagedorn said over the shouts from some in the crowd. "On that, we fundamentally disagree. The people that are there, they can leave. Nobody is holding them." "How is a three-month-old baby going to leave," replied someone from the crowd. Hagedorn's remarks and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2019 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
On Friday, members of the Minnesota Legislative POCI Caucus (People of Color and Indigenous) held a public informational meeting to present information about the humanitarian crisis occurring at America’s southern border as a result of the Trump Administration’s immigration policies, as well as the impact of potential ICE raids on Minnesota families and communities. Co-chaired by POCI Caucus state representative Jamie Becker-Finn, DFL-Roseville, and Fue Lee, DFL-Minneapolis, was an opportunity for members of the public to get the facts from immigration attorneys and legal experts, and hear from Minnesotans impacted by the Trump Administration’s policies. In her closing remarks, Becker-Finn... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2019 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
In Wednesday's Star Tribune, Jennifer Bjorhus reported in PolyMet review ordered by court: Finding "substantial evidence of procedural irregularities," the Minnesota Court of Appeals handed a victory to environmentalists Tuesday, ordering that a district court review the state's handling of a key water quality permit for PolyMet Mining. The ruling marks the third inqúiry that has been launched into a permit issued late last year by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Earlier this month, the EPA's Inspector General opened an investigation into the agencies' handling of the permit, and then Minnesota Legislative... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2019 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
We wrapped up Pollinator Week by heading over to Minnesota for the 2019 Tallgrass Prairie BioBlitz at Big Stone Lake State Park for a bit of citizen science. This was the fourth prairie bioblitz organized by Clean Up the River Environment (CURE) and the Land Stewardship Project--in partnership with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and the MN Department of Natural Resources (DNR), in conjunction with local livestock farmers. Livestock farmers and tallgrass prairies? Land Stewardship Project's page about the event explains: Not sure what a BioBlitz is? A BioBlitz is an intense period of biological surveying in an... Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2019 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
At the My Minnesota blog, John Harrington summarizes the situation with investigating the MPCA's behavior toward the EPA's misgivings about PolyMet in Now, we get to the truth!: Yesterday,[in Which do you trust more, politicians or bureaucrat] we expressed concerns about the probable objectivity of any legislative hearing regarding the MPCA and EPA roles in crafting a wastewater discharge permit for the PolyMet NorthMet project. Today, we learned (see press release below and this link) that: Rep. Hansen, chair of the House Environment and Natural Resources Finance Division, does not plan on calling any hearings in his committee on this... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2019 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
So much for Browns Valley Republican Minnesota state representative Jeff Backer's theory about nitrate contamination in Minnesota, vividly reported by City Pages' Susan Du in Rep. Jeff Backer tries to blame Minnesota's ag pollution on... goose shit. From our friends at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture: The state’s new Groundwater Protection Rule (GPR) became effective today, June 24, 2019. The GPR will reduce the risk of nitrate from fertilizer impacting groundwater in areas of the state where soils are prone to leaching and where drinking water supplies are threatened. Nitrate is one of the most common contaminants in Minnesota's groundwater;... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2019 at Bluestem Prairie
Image
In Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund plan from U of M for CWD diagnostic test, we posted a plan related to Dan Ferguson's article for Forum Communications, A field test for fatal deer disease? Minnesota scientists say it's just months away. Another document related to this project has been posted by Minnesota House Environment and Natural Resources Division Chair Rick Hansen, DFL-S. St. Paul: The U of M CWD Presentation to the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR). Larsen 201903t CWD Diagnost... posted by Rick Hansen on Scribd Let's hope Dr. Larsen's project proves to be successful. According to... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2019 at Bluestem Prairie