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

AICHO/Facebook

“I want death to find me planting my cabbages, but careless of death, and still more of my unfinished garden.”

 - Michel de Montaigne

Red Lake Nation Ojibwe artist Robert DesJarlait has a lot going on, but he really loves those words from Michel de Montaigne.

DesJarlait, a writer, artist, traditional dancer, and gardener is showing his recent watercolor/mixed media paintings in a virtual exhibition and at AICHO through September.

National Archives

On the far end of the Trail of Tears was a promise. Forced to leave their ancestral lands in Georgia and Alabama, the Creek Nation received assurances that their new lands in the West would be secure forever. In exchange for ceding“all their land, East of the Mississippi river,” the U. S. government agreed by treaty that “[t]he Creek country west of the Mississippi shall be solemnly guarantied to the Creek Indians.

Tricia Galvin/Unsplash

As of yesterday, we've gotten twice the normal amount of rainfall we usually get in July.

That 2.83" is almost the same amount of rain as we got in April, May and June.

As our 90° temps cool into the low 80s, it's the perfect time to celebrate the 84th anniversary of 1936's "heat week;" the coolest temperature recorded that week (these were recorded by the lake, by the way) was 95° and the 106° on July 13 is the hottest temperature ever recorded in Duluth.

University of Minnesota Duluth

If the communication Tuesday from UMD Chancellor Lendley Black was a little light on details, it can certainly be excused.

Monday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced that international students enrolled in a fully-online curriculum will be required to leave the country.

Kao Kalia Yang's book The Shared Room begins as what she calls "a love letter" to the 6-year-old who drowned three years ago at the Lake Elmo Park Reserve, the little girl she'd gotten to know and who told the author, "When I grow up I want to be a writer. Not just any writer, but one like you."

Little Village Films

Winona LaDuke is feeling pretty good today. 

The longtime Native American activist and advocate for sustainable development, renewable energy and local food systems is getting some rain on her crops this morning, and Monday, a district court ruled that the Dakota Access Pipeline must be shut down and drained of oil by August 5th.

LaDuke, also the executive director of the group Honor the Earth, has been battling the Dakota Access Pipeline project in North Dakota as well as the Enbridge Line 3 project in Northern Minnesota for years.

Nick van Wagenberg/United Nations Global Call Out To Creatives

St. Louis County's announcement Tuesday that 15 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported was surprising for a lot of reasons.

For one thing, it was one of the first times the new cases weren't connected to an outbreak in a congregate living facility, like longterm care.

For another, nine of the 15 cases involved people under 30.

Now begins the work of "contact tracing."  It's too early to have exact information but it seems that travel out of Minnesota may have played a part.

North American Normande Association/Facebook

Dale Peacock of Red Hoof Farms thinks there's a good, sustainable, quality life to be made on the south shore of Lake Superior; for farmers and cattle.

Of course, when you raise beef cattle, the ethical questions get a little stickier.

But Dale is a person with a lot of interest in - and concern about - people's relationship to what some have called "the stepmothers of humanity."

Gordon Joly/Flickr

Warm sun,  some actual rain - and Tom Kasper says, if we plan it right, we can get two or maybe even three harvests this season.

Plus the moral issues inherent in carrot-thinning, this week on Tips for Hardy Gardeners.

Kari Halker-Saathoff/Duluth Art Institute

The Duluth Art Institute has reopened and they have some exhibits up.  Folks who come into the Depot are, of course, asked to wear masks and social-distance.

Kari Halker-Saathoff: Odysseus & Penelope: The Long Journey

©Ivy Vainio. Used with permission.

She had a Singer treadle sewing machine and I was fascinated by the steady “click-click-click” of the needle going up and down. I watched her rock her foot to thread the bobbin, then slide back the cover to load the bobbin into the shuttle. I was always amazed when the sewing machine picked up the thread and could never figure out how it could get thread to link together on both sides of the fabric.

Sankax/Flickr

Vernal ponds are drying up.

June will go down as one of the top five driest Junes in 150 years.

And now ... big spiders.*

Perhaps this quote from Dorothy Molter, the "Root Beer Lady" sums up these days best:

  "When it gets to be July, I look forward to the long cold nights of November."

*A note about this photograph

Carolyn Holbrook’s life is peopled with ghosts—of the girl she was, the selves she shed and those who have caught up to her, the wounded and kind and malevolent spirits she’s encountered, and also the beloved souls she’s lost and those she never knew who beg to have their stories told. “Now don’t you go stirring things up,” one ghostly aunt counsels. Another smiles encouragingly: “Don’t hold back, child. Someone out there needs to hear what you have to say.”

MN350

Longtime environmental advocate and community organizer Sam Grant says he had about "two weeks of normal" after starting his new job as the executive director of MN350 at the end of February.

Then came COVID-19.

Duluth Police Department

Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken joins us in a candid and wide-ranging conversation about policing in these challenging times: the people they want to hire - and don't want to hire these days; the outrage, sorrow and embarassment of fellow police after the death of George Floyd, and the toll the unavoidable backlash takes on officers.

Plus he talks about the social workers already embedded within the department, the importance of School Resource Officers, and how a police union can work - and not work - for a police department and the community.

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