Tuesday, January 13, 2009

KLOG - the new GI-normous KAXE Blog

We are now posting all KAXE related items at the KLOG. Check it out!

Friday, December 19, 2008

John Bauer's first appearance in a commercial

Marshall Helmberger's weekly stories from NE Minnesota

Every Friday morning at 7:20 we check in with Marshall Helmberger from the TimberJay newspaper in North Eastern Minnesota. Marshall and his staff were watching the minute by minute changes online of the Coleman-Franken recount... check out the up to date information from the Star Tribune.

Marshall also talked with us about the final closing of the Ainsworth plants in Cook, Grand Rapids and Bemidji. They have been closed for awhile but especially for the town of Cook, Ainsworth really made it a vibrant community. Now, even if it reopens, there are no job guarantees.

One of the stories Marshall has been following closely is Governor Pawlenty's budget cuts. Almost certainly will be cuts to LGA, local government aid. Marshall said the question is not IF there will be LGA cuts but how big they will be. He told us how a town like Ely is really impacted by these cuts.... Ely was supposed to get an increase in LGA this year and had levy limits imposed. That money they were counting on is in jeopardy now. Many cities fact this too - payments they thought they would be receiving on December 26th may not be forthcoming. Stay tuned for more on what exactly the Governor is proposing. Marshall mentioned that the League of Minnesota Cities lists information on the LGA cuts and how cities and towns will be coming. Click here for more information.

And, as always, give us your thoughts on these topics!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cereal, Salt and Democracy in Action

Today on The Morning Show Maggie Montgomery talked local foods with Keith Aho from Homestead Mills in Cook, Minnesota. They produce homegrown, hearty cereals and pancake mixes and sponsor our Friday morning "What's For Breakfast" segment on The Morning Show. For past conversations about local food see our website!


They also had a conversation with John Bray from the MN Department of Transportation about salting the roads. Did you know that if the temperature is below 10 degrees, salt will not work on the roads?

But that temperature is not the AIR temperature, it's the temperature of the actual pavement. Asphalt then, is often much warmer (if it is sunny) than concrete.

The Department of Transportation has spiffy, high-tech snow plow trucks with infrared technology that allows the drivers to know the temperature of the roadway at all times. If the temperature dips below 10 degrees, magnesium chloride is used. Magnesium chloride is effective to at least -12 degrees and has the benefit of kind of rust-proofing your car. When temperatures reach as low as they have this week, like -20 and -30 degrees the DOT uses a mixture of abrasive road salt that is prewet with magnesium chloride and sand. The DOT uses 28,600 tons of road salt, 16,000 tons of sand and 53,000 magnesium chloride.

John reminded us though, that as is always the case (and especially in the subartic weather) drivers need to drive with care.



Scott and Maggie talked with Ross Williams from KAXE's community journalism project (Northern Community Internet) and Daniel LeClaire from the Cass Lake Times about e-democracy in Cass Lake. E-democracy is described as the world's most experienced online citizen engagement initiative.

E-democracy has created a space online to discuss local issues of importance. It is a safe and civil space with rules about posting only 2 times a day and using real names.

E-democracy is up and going in Cass Lake, Minnesota thanks to Daniel LeClaire. It works especially well in their community for many reasons - transportation is difficult for many around Leech Lake/Cass Lake - and finding a meeting space is also of issue. Online, through e-democracy, those barriers can be bridged. There will be a e-democracy get together on December 28th at the North Star Coffee Bar. It's a family get-together with a showing of the movie "Dreamkeeper" as well as chili. Afterwards, there will be information on e-democracy where hopefully even more people will get involved.

Bemidji is also working on e-democracy and they need more members (100 people must be involved in a community) and there will be a community meeting next Tuesday December 23rd at the Grand Rapids Area Library from 5:15-6:15 to start the process in Grand Rapids. Brainerd and Hibbing are also getting ready to launch e-democracy.

For more information on e-democracy in your area, email us, comments@kaxe.org. Or call 218-326-1234.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Great Minnesota Fish Book

Tom Dickson joined Scott on the Morning Show today to talk about his new book "The Great Minnesota Fish Book" published by University of Minnesota Press.

Illustrated beautifully by Joseph Tomelleri, Tom Dickson described Joseph as the preeminent fish illustrator because along with his artistic abilities he is a fisheries biologist and has the technical skills to create amazingly realistic reproductions.

Along with the fish we know about in Minnesota like walleye and smallmouth bass, "The Great American Fish Book" has information on those fish most of us have never heard of like the Freshwater Drum. Most people think they are a sucker fish....but they are actually related to the Saltwater Drum and as Tom said, "they taste great... in fact they taste almost exactly the same as walleye." They can be big fish, up to 30-40 lbs in warmer waters in Southern Minnesota like the Mississippi River... but you can find the Freshwater Drum all the way up into Northern Manitoba.

Tom Dickson's favorite fish is the Channel Catfish. "It's a beautiful fish - great food fish that is super strong with a deeply forked tail.... very fun to fish for..."

Many believe that smaller fish are the best eating. Tom agreed, "With smaller fish there is less time to bioaccumulate things like toxins and other bad tasting things in the water." There's a trade-off though he went on to say, with a smaller fish - say a Northern Pike Hammerhandle - you've got a lot of Y bones to fillet. Most people think the perfect fish for eating is a 18" walleye.

What do you think? What is your favorite fish to eat?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Dodger: Cello Love

I have cello love. I bought a cello in June. Lessons followed. I can proudly say I’m
almost done with Suzuki Book 2 with many more Suzuki Books to go. This week my cello and I will take the stage of the Reif Center with the Beginning Orchestra of the Itasca Orchestra’s Strings Program to perform “Old MacDonald,” “Jolly Old Saint Nicholas,” “Jingle Bells,” and several more works of a minute or more in length. It will not be Bach or Ma, but me and this lovely, shiny wooden instrument only a foot shorter than I. We will join Jade, Eddie, Hannah, Kaitlyn, and David, the 6 to 13 year olds in my very own cello section. The seven or so songs will take 15 minutes, if that, and we will leave the stage a bit better or not after our first concert.

Day one last June with my cello, I enthusiastically broke two strings in my desire to learn how to tune. Then I quickly learned that I was not going to sound good for at least a year, if that. Next was the physical challenge of playing. You can actually injure yourself playing violins, violas, cellos, and basses. My chiropractor, after a few adjustments, showed me how to stretch and prepare for practice. Now I am focused. My yoga and weight lifting will make me the cello musician I hope to be some day. It’s not about just exercising anymore. It’s about strengthening my right arm, neck and back. Getting into the zone. Zen cello.

I now hear cellos everywhere, the “minimalist” cello strains in the film There Will Be Blood, and the music of Cloud Cult, the Sparrow Quartet, and Ben Sollee. Last month, I took a field trip to the Cities to see Brit cellist Steven Isserlis perform “The Protecting Veil” with the Minnesota Orchestra. In this piece the cello takes the role of the Virgin Mary lamenting. The cello lamented for a good 42 minutes as Isserlis’s fingers dripped off the end of the finger board. The high pitched wailing was mesmerizing, but the man sitting in front of me used Mary’s lament as background music for reading his concert program. How could he have been so clueless? It was a cello up there crying its heart out. I wanted to rip the program from his indifferent hands and tear it to shreds. A bit irrational I would say.

Love is not rational. Cello love. Watch out.

Kathy Dodge co-hosts KAXE Morning Show on Mondays and is the Executive Director of the Itasca Symphony Orchestra. Feel free to comment on "Cello Love", but be sure your syntax and spelling are correct!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Breakfast with Chips!

No, it wasn't with Ponch or John from the California Highway Patrol.... and it wasn't breakfast with a bag of Doritos either.

Today we had a healthy breakfast thanks to CHIPS, the Coronary Health Improvement Project in Itasca County. Five folks from CHIPS showed up in our kitchen and served us with not only a healthy meal, but a tasty meal!

We had Biscuits and Gravy, Joyce and Arthur's bread, fruit & Rice Pudding. And best of all, we created a little community in our kitchen and in our conference room, people talking about changing eating habits, feeling better - both physically and mentally. Here's some of the recipes from the feast today. Look here for more!
Biscuits and Gravy

"Buttermilk" Drop Biscuits
3/4 cup plain soymilk or rice milk
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tb canola oil
1 Tb frozen apple juice concentrate (or other liquid sweetener)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pour soymilk into small cup or bowl and stir in lemon juice. Let it sit for 10 minutes to sour.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl. Place oil and juice concentrate in small cup and beat with fork to combine well. Add this to flour mixture and cut it in with fork until mixture resembles fine crumbs.
Add soymilk and stir batter with wooden spoon. The batter will be thick. Mist the baking sheet with nonstick spray and then drop dough onto it by larkge rounded spoonfuls to make 10 biscuits.
Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes until golden. Transfer to a cooling rack. Best served hot or warm.
(From Vegan Vittles)

"Sausage" Gravy

1 cup water
½ cup raw cashews
2 cups water
1/3 cup flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp chicken or beef-style season (vegetarian options include McKay's and Bill's Best)
1 tsp soy sauce
1 Tb nutritional yeast flakes
½ bag Morningstar Farms Sausage or Griller Crumbles (vegetarian soy product)

In a saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to boil. Blend the remaining ingredients, except sausage crumbles, until creamy (best to add flour at the end of the blending). Take blended mixture and add it slowly to boiling water, stirring with a whisk until the pot returns to a boil. Stir in crumbles and serve hot over biscuits.
Alternate Biscuit Recipe

1 cup whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tb baking powder
3 Tb Smart Balance or Earth Balance, cold
1 cup soy, rice, or skim milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix flours and baking powder. Quickly cut in Smart or Earth Balance while cold. Add milk and mix lightly with a fork. Do not overmix. When mixture has almost come together, pour out on a floured board. Gently press about ½" thick (may need to flour the top a little if it's sticky). Take a cup dipped in flour and cutout biscuit rounds. Reshape scraps to get another biscuit or two out of the dough. Spray a shot of Pam where each biscuit will sit on a baking tray, and put in hot oven for about 15 minutes. Best served hot out of the oven. Makes about 10 biscuits.

Rice Pudding

3 cups cooked brown rice

3 cups soy, almond, or rice milk

4-6 oz. coconut milk (optional)

1 Tb cornstarch

1½ Tb maple syrup

Zest of ½ lemon

Zest of ½ orange

2 tsp vanilla (less if you use vanilla soymilk)

¼ tsp nutmeg

¼ tsp cardamom

¼ tsp cinnamon

1/3 cup raisins

3 Tb sliced almonds

1 tsp sugar

Combine everything in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Sprinkle the top with almonds and sugar. You may then, if you wish, broil the mixture for about 8 minutes to toast almond and sugar topping. This step may be skipped. Best if chilled thoroughly before serving.