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

MCBA/Facebook

A little snow on the ground: not enough to play in but too much to ignore.

So we turn inward, perhaps, to books.

Friday (October 23) is the MCBA Prize Reveal and a Live Artist Talk at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, which you can attend in your sweats and with a snack, if you wish.

And if that whets your appetite, you can find out about their extensive offering of virtual workshops on their website.

Here's a much-needed silver lining in our new and challenging times: Dr. Linda LeGarde Grover says 112 people joined her for the Department of American Indian Studies' first Zoom presentation; many more, she says, than would ever have been able to attend in person.

©Lisa Johnson

Aut-win, for those new to Backyard Almanac, is that time of year after Leaf Dropand before the first lasting snow.

Aut-win arrived on the heels of some hard rain and gusty winds Sunday into Monday when Leaf Dropofficially took place.

But fear not: Tamarack Timeis just getting started!

Zachary Beckman/Unsplash

Now it's in the hands of the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Yesterday, the court heard arguments from PolyMet and the Minnesota DNR on one side; and the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and a variety of other environmental protection groups on the other.

Brandon Knott

Dr. Brandon Knott and the other members of the international team working on a better way to recycle plastics are excited about their work.

For one thing, they're trying to solve a problem that everyone "gets," more or less.

Here's the deal: when you recycle plastics these days, it's done with machines that grind them up, melt them down, and make new stuff out of them.

Arne Vainio. Used with permission.

Clean up/clean out your garden at the end of the season or leave it?

Jeff Kalstrom's E.is the A. A.is the W. opened at The Nordic Center last week ...  you can visit it in person as long as you observe the customary keeping-each-other-safe protocols, or enjoy it virtually.

Arne/Ivy Vainio

  I was almost to my hotel and a man was kneeling on the sidewalk pulling a trumpet out of its case. I was well past him and was about to cross the street when he started to play.  Jazz? Blues?

Copyright Bryan French. Used with permission.

Right up there with ice out, freeze up, and first snow is LEAF DROP.

And Larry wants us to know it's a deliberate act on the part of trees.

Author Peter Geye talks about his most recent novel, Northernmost, the challenges of writing about Scandinavians ("I'm drawn to characters who live quiet, introspective lives), the surprising ease of creating authentic voices for characters from the 1890s ("Go to Ingebretson's Market on Lake Street before Christmas and look at how the husbands and wives talk to each other") and the unexpected bonus - in the form of another new novel - born of a little more time at home.

David Syring. Used with permission.

When the subject of globalization comes up, it's frequently in the context of markets or economies, which can sometime be a little ... impenetrable to the average person.

But when you talk with Dr. David Syring, an anthropologist here at UMD, he's alight with excitement to talk about his discipline ("Anthopology brings the consciousness that there are many ways to be human in the world") and way the indigenous Saraguro people of southern Ecuador, for instance, respond to the idea of globalization through storytelling and art.

The Osage shield on the Oklahoma state flag shows a Plains-style ceremonial pipe representing Native Americans, and an olive branch representing European Americans. The symbols are meant to demonstrate "a love of peace by a united people."

Copyright Bob King. Used with permission.

Mars will be as close as it gets to the earth this week.

And it won't get this close again until 2035.

And Bob King says it's really something you should see with a teloscope.

You can read more about Mars on Bob's blog here, and he's promising to share tips for telescope buying in the next few weeks.

It's common knowledge that Louisa May Alcott's tale of a family's home life during the Civil War, Little Women, was loosely based on her own growing-up.

But thank heavens clever scholars followed up on the real-life counterparts of the book's heroines, because Abigail May Alcott Nieriker ("Amy" is an anagram of "May;" get it?) really did go to Paris and made a moderate success of herself as an artist and writer.

Local art come sroaring back this week with some live and virtual exhibitions:

First up, Jonathan Thunder and Robb Quisling open Aqua Vitae, Thursday October 8 at the Kruk Gallery on the UWS campus

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