"I wanted to make strides to end the abuse of women," Walt recalled as she accepted the first "Phenomenal Woman" award on March 10. "I was on welfare with little kids, living in Solon Springs in cheap housing, thinking there has to be something more. I had no education. But I had drive." Walt moved to Duluth and worked on sexual assault, battered women and incest issues. With others, she began the long slog toward creating good, safe living space.
> In the late 1990s, when some ambitious members of the Weavers Guild of Minnesota dreamt of a Textile Center, potential funders questioned, "Who would come?" For a year, the weavers traveled around the state and found hundreds of groups quilting in church basements, knitting and crocheting, and weaving in distinctive immigrant traditions: the Finns prominent in our region. They got their funding.
Like most of us, I've been brooding over school and public space massacres. Probing the causes in my mind, wondering how we can stop them. Some answers: stronger and less individualized communities, better teaching and mentoring of prospective parents, and changes in how we arm and police.
For more than five years, I've been hosting a yoga group in Cromwell. We meet Mondays at 11 a.m. at the Pavilion and spend an hour stretching, bending, twisting and creating space in our joints. Over the years, probably three dozen women, men and children have participated, ages 6 or 7 to 90.
The Ravine Shelter is one of two Fond du Lac State Forest shelters serving snowmobilers and skiers. The other, the older Rogers Lake Shelter, sits on the small gem of a lake where Blanche and Kenneth Kingsley homesteaded in the 1930s. Eagle Lake resident Bruce Schoenberg, longtime DNR Division of Forestry District forester, reports that the Ravine Shelter was constructed by the Sentence-to-Service Crew under the supervision of Bob Wait sometime before 1986. Built with trees harvested from the nearby plantation, the shelter was a trail enhancement project intended for both snowmobile and ski trail users.
The spring county caucus was upbeat and exciting. We met in the beautiful tiered convening space at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, filled with light from its two-story windows, every participant visible from the tiered seating. We were introduced to the candidates for state and federal offices. Each had an opportunity to tell us about his or her qualifications and aspirations. On our arrival, the organizers asked us to submit questions on several topics — jobs, education, women's issues, environment and social services — for an afternoon grilling of candidates. After lunch, four candidates running for state representative stood up on stage. Questions had been selected out of the topical boxes, and each candidate responded briefly.
Tettegouche State Park is a winter favorite of the Minnesota Rovers' outing club. Nestled in the Sawtooth Mountain Range between Beaver Bay and Finland, its steep rocky Palisades rise from Lake Superior northwestward. At the park's heart, snuggled around Lake MicMac, are four cabins and a rec hall built in the 1910s by rich Duluth men after the area had been heavy logged.
Twenty years ago, novelist and playwright friend Wesley Brown told me that he always watches movies about artists. What a remarkable way to learn, I thought. When Netflix emerged, I began to hunt for documentaries of musicians and writers whose work I, as listener or reader, loved.
> For me, winter was a major reason I came home after 35 years of living elsewhere — Washington, D.C.; Lansing, Michigan; Colorado's front range; the Bay Area; Chicago; and central New Jersey. I missed the snow. The sun sparkling on the snow. Those winter nights when I'm drawn out of the house to dance with the Northern Lights. The snow sports: ice skating, cross-country and downhill skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing. <
Ironically, the current bills would penalize most heavily those states and cities that have chosen to tax themselves for more and better schools and public services. Convolution No. 3. Fourth, the health insurance mandate. As a gesture toward repealing Obamacare and also to save money, the Senate tax bill currently in debate would eliminate the requirement that all Americans buy health insurance or pay a penalty.