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

Christopher Owusu/Unsplash

As one of those kids whose parents moved around a lot, Meg Litts got used to being "other."  The new kid. "You're not from here, are you?"

Then she purposely went to Grinnell College where only 10% of the students there were actually from Iowa.

Now she's using those insights and others gained from her life to unpack white fragility, systemic racism, and how to listen.

Paul Hanaoka/Unsplash

All kinds of great stargazing awaits as we move toward the weekend:

Friday, June 19: the crescent moon has a rendezvous with the crescent Venus  around 4:30am...

Saturday, June 20: you can see a whole string of SpaceX satellites at 3:26 am (yup, there's an app for that), and the sun reaches its highest point in the sky at 4:44pm  ...

You might be hard-pressed to name famous Finnish philosophers; in fact, people in Finland might be hard-pressed to name famous Finnish philosophers.

But there is one philosopher – of a sort – that Finns are introduced to from the time that they’re born and they carry his wisdom with them throughout their lives – through his poetry.

Long before she worked at KUMD, our former station manager, Mimmu Salmela was born and raised in Finland.  And it didn’t take her any time at all to select a reading from this poet-philosopher – however unlikely he might seem to begin with.

Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona/Unsplash

There are a couple interesting online events today:

Make it Matter: Actions for Advancing Equity

Monday, 15 June 202012:00 PM-12:55 PMFacing the Truth About Racial Disparities Wednesday, 17 June 202012:00 PM-12:55 PMOwning Your Cultural Integrity Friday, 19 June 202012:00 PM-12:55 PMTaking Action to Destroy Disparities

Native American Community Clinic

Around the middle of May, an article came out in Indian Country Today warning that, even though Native Americans in Minnesota have largely escaped the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic, a quote - dire forecast for June  has housing, health care and homelessness advocates bracing for the worst - unquote.

Lisa Johnson

Next week at this time, we'll be celebrating the longest day of the year with almost 16 hours of light, and the first day of summer.

If you want to celebrate now, though, go ahead; Larry calls it summer when the wildflowers out in the open outnumber the ones in the woods.

Trees are blooming, birds are raising babies, infant turtles are being threatened by infant racoons, love is in the air for mink and green frogs ... now if it would just rain.  About five inches worth would catch us up nicely - just not all at once.

"You can't be what you don't see."

That's why Anthony Scott and Dr. Chaunda Scott are so dedicated to continuing their father's work. Walter Scott produced a series of books profiling the African-American community of the times (The Scott Collection: Minnesota's Black Community in the '50s, '60s, and '70s) and his children, already working with a non-profit called Minnesota's Black Community Project, released their new book this month.


Remember Sophie's Choice?  William Styron's 1979 novel, and the movie that followed three years later horrified readers with the story of a woman forced to choose which of her children would die in an Auschwitz gas chamber.

The good news is that we are rarely called to make decisions that horrific in our everyday lives.

Climate Change Education

Climate Generation has been providing resources and information for educators for years, but now, depending on how the year unfolds, parents may be interested in taking a look at their Climate Change Education program materials, too.

Nathan Dumlao/Unsplash

The St. Louis River Alliance has added their voice to the growing chorus of organizations taking a second look at their diversity and inclusiveness and seeing room for improvement.

xiao zhou from Getty Images

Sometimes you just can't win.

As public health officials watched the COVID-19 pandemic play out on the east and west coasts, they encouraged us here in the Midwest to social distance and wear masks.

François Médion

When François Médion was the urban farm manager for the Duluth Grill, he saw his role as that of a builder.

Not just in the sense that he had to rip up a parking lot and put in an orchard and a rain garden, but he wanted to build an awareness of the need for wild things and wild spaces.

Now, in his new role as master gardener at the Ojibwe School on the Fond du Lac Reservation, the former summer program has grown to be a full-time, year-round venture.

Eli Brody/Flickr

Museums were already in a time of transition before the coronavirus pandemic shut them down and death of George Floyd brought racism and other "colonial" attitudes - like "cultural looting" - to the forefront of the public consciousness.  How to move forward; how to listen and reevaluate is the challenge now. (Major U.S. Museums Criticized for Responses to Ongoing George Floyd Protests)

©Lisa Johnson

For June to stay on track, precipitation-wise, we'd need to get about an inch of rain per week, and that's not counting the deficit we're carrying over from May.

The not-great news is that some vernal ponds are already evaporating due to the dryness.

The good news?  Fireflies and lady's-slippers!

If you knew a professional "fisherwoman" ("fisherperson") who became an accidental host of a fishing show on public television, had a fixer-upper house and a clingy rescue dog, would you want to stay in touch?

Turns out, even authors develop relationships with characters that they can't let go of the way they thought they could.

Fishing is published by the University of Minnesota Press.