Northland Morning Interviews

Ze'ev Barkan/Flickr

It's one thing to talk about global warming in terms of pack ice and polar bears ... but what are fishing guides and resorts and tourists supposed to do when it's hot - even by the lake - and there's not enough snow to ski in December?

North Shore businesses are already looking at those questions - and solutions - with a little help from University of Minnesota researchers.

To learn more about the project and the changing face of the North Shore, click here.

©Deb Holman

$530 dollars a month bought a lot more in 1986.

If that number kept up with the cost of living, it would be closer to $1,400 in 2016 dollars.

But 30 years later, a family of three on MFIP (The Minnesota Family Investment Program - the state's welfare reform program for low-income families with children), is still getting the $530 per month.

If you want to be a babysitter these days, or a lifeguard, do child care or a home health aid, you have to know CPR.

Chad Scott looks forward to the day where mental health first aid is as common.

Scott is a mental health first aid instructor who's leading a training at UMD next month, and he says, in addition to mental health care professionals, anyone who has a job where they see a lot of people should consider taking the course.

Winona LaDuke

Winona LaDuke on restoring ethics to public policy, competing ethoses and how to convince "humans to do good things, not just for the one percent, but for all of us."

Photo courtesy Tim Sitarz

It's got to be pretty exciting to get a job on an Oscar-nominated film.  And The Revenant racked up a Best Actor statuette for Leonardo DiCaprio, as well as awards for Best Cinematography and Best Directing.

So why isn't Minnesota boy and a UMD grad Tim Sitarz splashing on-set photos and behind-the-scenes details all around? 

A little thing called a non-disclosure agreement.

Tim Sitarz may or may not have stunt-doubled for the bear that attacked Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie, but you didn't hear that from him.

Mike Mozart/Flickr

What do you get when you combine a university with the military?  Red tape: that's what you get.

Diversity on the UMD campus isn't limited to students of different races or backgrounds; it's home to a variety of non-traditional students including veterans and active-duty military.

The recent Veteran's Forum gave military students and UMD the chance to talk about efforts the U is making to improve the college experience for those students.

Joe Brusky/Flickr

Two years ago, the Project on Student Debt reported that 76% of UMD grads in 2014 had student loan debt and the average amount was $31,244.

With numbers like that, it's no wonder programs like 2007's Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program are getting a second look.

Facebook/Mimmu Salmela

Less than one percent of Americans can speak another language well enough to hold a conversation.

And yet every year, hundreds of college students for whom English is a second language come to the Northland to go to school: to listen to lectures in English, take tests in English and write papers in English.

The challenge is twofold: how to communicate your knowledge of biology, for example, when you understand the subject matter but your grasp of English may be incomplete ... and how to show who you really are to the people around you.


The rainforest isn't the only place to discover natural remedies and other botanical treasures that may aid human health ... look no further than lowly birch bark, a leftover from lumber and paper-making operations and usually burned on-site for heat.

But birch bark has some natural chemicals that are in demand.  The problem is that, up until now, you could only extract them in grams at a time - not in the quantities that would make it commercially feasible.

MN Department of Transportation

A 1929 ad for the Great Northern Railway trumpeted "Watch for it!  a transcontinental train with the largest most palatial observation sun room car ever built [sic]"

The proposed Northern Lights Express may not be able to challenge the old Empire Builder when it comes to certain touches like 1925's "four o'clock tea ... served each day in the luxuriously fitted observation cars of the New Oriental Limited," but the original Empire Builder's ads boasted the train "Saves a Business Day!" and indeed, the Northern Lights Express could do the same.

Even with a DUI on your record, if you live, say, in the Congdon or Lakeside neighborhoods, you're probably still paying less for your car insurance than someone in Lincoln Park.

By (US DOI) Office of Indian Affairs staff - US DOI now-defunct sub-agency: Office of Indian Affairs, Public Domain

As our series on privilege continues this week, we've talked to guests who both sides of the issue: they're people of color, on the one hand; but men, on the other.

Lisa Herthel-Hendrickson is an enrolled Anishiannabeg from Wisconsin, who has lived in Duluth for many years and graduated from UWS with her bachelors in sociology and native studies this last year.

I asked her which is harder: to be a woman or to be Native?  Her answer?  Neither is as hard as poverty.

©The Virginian-Pilot

Jordon Moses says it's little things.  Like sitting on a crowded bus and all the other seats fill up before someone will sit next to you.

Like people assuming you must have gotten into college or gotten hired through some kind of affirmative action program.

And even well-meaning comments like "you speak so well," seen through the lens of race can sound like "don't all black people speak Ebonics?"

It's not just frustrating or hurtful ... Moses says it's lonely.

Interested in Jordon's reading list of blogs?  He shared some of his favorites:

Tom Page/Flickr

We kick off a four-part series this week about privilege.  Just like the title says, who has it?  Who doesn't?  And who doesn't see it?

Jeremy Nevilles-Sorell of Mending the Sacred Hoop joins us to set the stage: what is it about being called "privileged" that makes so many people defensive ... and could we substitute words like "societal norms" or "advantages" or "luck" to talk about the same thing?

_ Kripptic [via Flickr, modified]

  Starting 43 years ago as a race with 35 participants, the American Birkebeiner in Hayward, Wisconsin has now grown into the largest and longest cross-country ski event in North America, an international ski marathon with over 10,000 skiers competing in several events over the next few days.

In addition to Saturday's main event, comprised of both the 51K Skate Marathon and the 55K Classic Ski Marathon, there are also has several shorter-range races for people of all ages and abilities.