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

©Lisa Johnson

In years past, folks at the start of the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon had to shout to be heard above the baying of the sled dogs.

That is, until the dogs were given the command to move.

Then they fell utterly silent as they threw their weight into the traces ... and the crowds took over with whooping and cheering and yes, cowbell. 

This year will be a lot different.

QPAWS (Qrill Pet Arctic World Series)

At the beginning of March 2020, the organizers of the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon were pretty much sitting on top of the world.

World Bank Photo Collection/Creative Commons

On the first day of his administration, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to have the United States rejoin the Paris climate agreement.

Jenna Yeakle is an Organizing Representative with the North Star Chapter of the Sierra Club in Duluth. She says she watched the signing, heaved a sign of relief, poured another cup of coffee and got back to work.

Yeakle is pleased with what she calls the new administration's emphasis on democracy, but points out that the onus is also on the people of this country to solve many of its ills. 

Anne Morris/Unsplash

As all Douglas Adams fans know, 42 is the answer to the question of Life, the Universe and Everything. (It was first calculated by the supercomputer Deep Thought after seven and a half million years of contemplation.)

52 has nowhere near that kind of gravitas ... but since it's the number of minutes we've gained in daylight since the winter solstice in December ... it makes us feel immeasureably better.

Kelly Sikkema/Unsplash

The birds-and-the-bees conversation is still awkward and uncomfortable for parents, so the idea that you should start when kids are young talking to them about things like sex trafficking can seem unthinkable.

Mary Plaster

The weather outside is frightful - well, the wind chills are.

But that means it's perfect weather for ice luminaries or, if you're Mary Plaster, maybe something more along the post-industrial plastic/wire/LED line.

Minnesota Indian Women's Sexual Assault Coalition

Two years ago, the Minnesota Student Survey added a question for 9th and 11th graders. Answering the questions is optional, but even so, when asked if they have ever traded sex for something of value,  five thousand young people across Minnesota said yes, they have.
 

Copyright JR Kelsey. Used with permission.

Last week, Larry Weber told us we were in the running for the warmest January on record, surpassing the old record set back in 2006.

Today ... alas.  But despite the cold, we're still short on precipitation and snow, and that's already challenging this year's John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon.

Hosta (Pinterest), peppers and pumpkin (Park Seeds)

It's a little early in the season for the really serious cabin fever to set in, but Tom Kasper is making plans with the fevered enthusiasm of your average Minnesotan in late February.

How will his garden grow this summer? With Komodo Dragon Hostas, Atlantic Giant Pumpkins and Ghost Peppers, all in a row.

We've all shared the Facebook memes and posts about some plot to kidnap women and how they need to be aware of this and take X, Y and Z steps to be safe. That's just being thoughtful, right?  But people who work with victim-survivors say we're perpetuating the idea that the only way you can be trafficked is if a stranger kidnaps you, or that only adult women are trafficked.

And when we do that, we're ignoring the people - young people: boys and girls 12-14 years old - who ARE being trafficked in our community.

Chad Davis/Flickr

On this Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Annie has some reflections on the art that resonated with us particularly this year, and looks at the "coalition of voices" that perhaps we need to listen for.

You can read more about the artists' response to George Floyd's death here.

Arne/Ivy Vainio. Used with permission.

That means we need to continue to wear masks, keep our social distance, wash our hands frequently, avoid public gatherings and sanitize frequently touched surfaces.

Is this a sacrifice?

Not compared to losing an elder. Ivy and I go to her grandmother’s house and we stand outside the window and we wave and we can talk on the phone. I can see the sadness and longing in Ivy’s eyes and in her grandmother’s. I can see the distance that pane of glass puts between them.

Copyright JR Kelsey. Used with permission.

So far, January has been cloudy and warm.  In fact, Larry says if we keep it up, we're on pace to break the old record for the warmest January on record set back in 2006!

But the clouds mean sound is amplified.  The warmish temperatures mean you can walk slooooowly and really take in what you're seeing.

And Larry is encouraging folks to follow the example of Duluth's JR Kelsey and get out there and take photographs!

Fresh Energy

Minnesota has reached the public comment phase of its draft Clean Cars Standard.

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