Lisa Johnson

Morning Announcer

Lisa Johnson started her broadcast career anchoring the television news at her high school and spinning country music at KWWK/KOLM Radio in Rochester, Minnesota. She was a reporter and news anchor at KTHI in Fargo, ND (not to mention the host of a children's program called "Lisa's Lane") and a radio reporter and anchor in Moorhead, Bismarck, Wahpeton and Fergus Falls.

Since 1991, she has hosted Northland Morning on KUMD. One of the best parts of her job includes "paying it forward" by mentoring upcoming journalists and broadcasters on the student news team that helps produce Northland Morning.  She also loves introducing the different people she meets in her job to one another, helping to forge new "community connections" and partnerships.

Lisa has amassed a book collection weighing over two tons, and she enjoys reading, photography, volunteering with Animal Allies Humane Society and fantasizing about farmland.  She goes to bed at 8pm, long before her daughter, two cats, or three dogs.

Ways to Connect

Rob Levine/Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy

The Minnesota Supreme Court's decision to  rescind PolyMet's permit to mine in essence, returned both mining and environmental advocates to their respective corners - but both are claiming victory.

PolyMet is hoping they can avoid hearings on the "upstream" mine waste dam and its majority owner, Glencore.

But environmentalists, who have found problems with additional project permits since 2018 are hoping this is a good place to stop, reassess and ask the hard question: Can this project move ahead legally at all?

USGS/Unsplash

The Climate Emergency Poetry Series' next event is May 16, and this, the eighth iteration, is the "out-of-towners" edition. 

Co-founder (with John Herold) Phil Fitzpatrick says he hopes participants and/or audience members get start "their own climate gig" in their communities" whatever it takes to get folks paying attention - and thinking.

Andrew Spencer/Unsplash

The weirdness of gravity (and you could jump higher on the moon),  and a chance to see bits and pieces of Halley's Comet tonight!

Plus Venus and Saturn return to the evening sky.

Sabishī/Flickr

If Larry has one piece of advice as April warms into May, it's: take a walk.  Every. Single. Day.

Freelance illustrator and University of Minnesota instructor John Owens didn't grow up heading to the Boundary Waters every summer, but once he went, he was hooked.

John Owens talked about how different artists capture inspiration, the fragility of stepping outside your comfort zone, and how you know when you have something good, this week on MN Reads.

John also mentioned a "teachable companion" to his book and you can find it here.

©Lisa Johnson

To kill, or not to kill?   That is the question—

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The deer and rabbits of outrageous hunger,

Or to take arms against them in defence of the garden,

And, by opposing, end them?

(with apologies to William Shakespeare)

Art majors never dreamed their senior exhibitions would look like this.

And yet even as museums and galleries all over the country are casting about for options to packing people into their physical spaces, college students are making their exhibitions happen, pandemic or no pandemic.

Russ Allison Loar/Flickr

"I deserve to die alone, Dr. Vainio. I was never any kind of father and I stopped at the bar on my way home every time I got paid. I never took him to a park or swimming or to a fair. I wasn’t any better husband than I was a father. I told my wife she was the cause of my drinking. Maybe I was wrong,” he smiled grimly, “they’ve been gone for over thirty years.”

Sam Zimmerman

Sam Zimmerman is taking a class to re-learn his language, Ojibwemowin.

He laughs his efforts are making his ancestors' ears bleed, but if Sam's ancestors have been keeping track of him, chances are they're pretty proud.

Janet Riegle (tree swallows), JR Kelsey (hermit thrush, leopard frog), Lisa Johnson (pelicans, maple, sweet coltsfoot)

Despite days of clouds, rain, and even snow showers, the second half of unpredictable April has been a little short of precipitation.

Luckily, we got a great day yesterday to see all kinds of flora and fauna, and starting today we go back to cool, cloudy, and a chance of rain or snow into next week.

One look at the whimsical cover illlustration for Kao Kalia Yang's Yang Warriors, and you're pretty sure what it's going to be about: a band of plucky little kids who accomplish something marvelous amidst hilarity and hijinks.

Those illustrations by Billy Thao (in his debut) are just the right touch of leavening.  As the story keeps you turning pages, you begin to see a darker side of the tale that Yang says "she carried inside of her for a long time."

Michael Milligan/US EPA

No stops in Duluth for the Research Vessel (R/V) Lake Guardian this year, but they're anything but out of touch.

The April mission to sample water and biological organisms in all five Great Lakes left Milwaukee April 1, and the 11 scientists aboard have been working 12 hour shifts to collect samples and data.

jlmaral/Flickr

Phil Fitzpatrick is almost always poetic, even when he's pessimistic.

He wrote in a recent column in the Duluth News Tribune:

"After years of trying to understand and solve climate change, there are new distractions, the pandemic being only the most existential. The economy, race relations, immigration, our divided country, gun violence, and more all add weight and gloom. But hanging over Earth like an increasingly sodden, ominous cloak of misery is the unrelenting warming of the atmosphere."

But Phil's not a guy to wallow in despair.  He and local activist John Herold co-founded the Climate Emergency Poetry series, and last Sunday's event featured student poets from local high schools and universities.

Sometimes a dose of young people's optimism and passion is just what you need.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Flickr

NASA engineers got their "Wright Brothers moment" Monday when the solar-powered Ingenuity helicopter climbled straight up about ten feet, hovered, and dropped down again, the 40 second flight making history.  (You can see the video here: "NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter Succeeds in Historic First Flight")

Pages