Monday, April 28, 2008

High Tunnels

In the past few days I’ve been looking online at information about high tunnels. It started last week on KAXE’s Morning Show, when Scott Hall and I talked to Terry and Loralee Nennich, owners of Ter-Lee Gardens (for Terry and Loralee) near Bagley. Terry has been called the “High Tunnel Guru” of Minnesota. He’s a University of MN extension educator who has done a lot of research on the subject. Terry builds tunnels; Loralee plants them.

A high tunnel is a plastic-over-frame, generally unheated version of a greenhouse. It is relatively inexpensive--1/10 the cost of a greenhouse. Crops are planted directly in the ground. They are watered by drip tape that is laid on the ground or buried about an inch under the soil. There are no fans. Crops are vented by rolling up the plastic sides of the tunnel.

High tunnels are especially important to growers who want to get a jump on the season, and they also allow growers to extend the season into the fall. Consumers pay a premium for early produce like tomatoes and, if farmers can market food for a few extra weeks each season, it means a lot to the bottom line.

Loralee said she plants several varieties of tomatoes and 35 varieties of (primarily) hot peppers in the Ter-Lee high tunnels. The varieties are not the normal types grown in Minnesota. High tunnels get really warm, so Loralee grows varieties native to hotter climates. She and Terry have to be sure the tunnels are vented before it gets too warm inside on any given day.

My online searches showed that the tunnels are a little more involved than I originally had hoped, but definitely do-able for the home gardener. There are high tunnels at the North Central Research and Outreach Center in Grand Rapids. Dave Wildung at the Center was another pioneer, along with Terry Nennich, of the high tunnel method. There is also a MN High Tunnel Production Manual available online from the University of MN Extension Service.

The folks from Ter-Lee Gardens come to the Bemidji farmers’ market at the Pamida parking lot three days a week—Sundays 11-4, Tuesdays 9-5, and Thursdays noon-6. They produce asparagus, strawberries, and 30-40 types of vegetables from early July through November 1.

StoryCorps - Mom and Son - Why Are You Still Not Married?

Did you get a chance to hear last week's StoryCorps on NPR's Morning Edition on KAXE?

10-year-old Rahsheed McKenstry interviewed his mother Rhonetta in Memphis, Tennessee. Rahsheed and his brother are being raised by their mother and he had some questions to pose to her.

"OK, so why are you not still married?"
"Because my ex-husband was horrible," she said.
"Was he violent toward you?"
"Was he violent toward anybody else?"
"You and your brother, which is why I won't let him see you."

Listen to their conversation here.

The StoryCorps Airstream is coming to Northern Minnesota at the end of August through September. This means you will have the chance to sit down with someone you care about and ask them questions. Contact us if you are interested in setting up an interview or want to volunteer with this project.

Other things you can do:

Listen Friday mornings to NPR's Morning Edition on 91.7 KAXE

Read the StoryCorps book "Listening Is An Act of Love - A Celebration of American Life from the StoryCorps Project"

Have your bookclub read "Listening Is An Act of Love - A Celebration of American Life from the StoryCorps Project"

Subscribe to the StoryCorps podcast

Check out the StoryCorps website -

Read the StoryCorps blog

Come to a Listening Party at KAXE studios - stay tuned for details

Saturday, April 19, 2008

this just in from John in Ideal - an Eyesore!

Hi Heidi,

Don't you see these eyesores everywhere - even the state isn't immune.

I want to recruit you as a member of the Apostrophe Nazi Party. All you have to do is be on the watch for these eyesores.


Landmark or Eyesore?

Maggie Montgomery drives by this landmark/eyesore on the way to work. Her thought was that it is definitely a landmark that is BECOMING an eyesore. What do you think? Are there eyesores where you live? Post them here and tune in to Between You and Me from 10-noon today (4/19) on 91.7 KAXE. Email a photo of a landmark/eyesore!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

StoryCorps coming up!

You may have already heard but KAXE has been chosen as a StoryCorps station....we couldn't be more thrilled!

What exactly IS StoryCorps?

Since 2003, almost 30,000 everyday people have shared life stories with family and friends in our StoryBooths. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to share, and is preserved at the Library of Congress. Millions listen to our broadcasts on public radio and the web. StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind.

We hope you'll not only record a conversation with someone who matters to you, but volunteer to be a part of this great project. We need ideas on places we can bring the StoryCorps airstream across the listening area - people to help staff the booth - and folks interested in helping to get the word out, etc. Stay tuned for more information on October's StoryCorps project.

You can hear StoryCorps every Friday morning on NPR's Morning Edition between 5:15 and 5:30 and again at 7:10. You can also hear StoryCorps on upcoming episodes of Realgoodwords.

Career Advice from a Comic Book

Tomorrow we're talking to author Daniel Pink about his new manga career book for young adults "The Adventures of Johnny Bunko - the Last Guide You'll Ever Need". In graphic novel/cartoon form Pink gives six core lessons of finding, keeping and flourishing in statisfying work.

Tune in to the Morning Show Friday April 18th at 8:10 for a conversation with Daniel Pink!

Monday, April 14, 2008

7 Random Things

I've been tagged by Christina Brown at Northern Cheapskate to do a meme called 7 Random Things. What the hell is a meme I thought? Kids these days...

A meme, according to some meme blog I found, is described as this:
In the context of web logs / 'blogs / blogging and other kinds of personal web sites it's some kind of list of questions that you saw somewhere else and you decided to answer the questions. Then someone else sees them and does them and so on and so on. I generally consider these to be actual questions and not some multiple choice quizzes that determine some result at the end (what color you are most like, what cartoon character are you, what 80s movie are you).

So, after somewhat figuring it out, here's my 7 Random things.

1. Popcorn hulls - when I was little I saw some relative put in contact lenses. I thought they looked a lot like the hulls from popcorn so I stuck them in my eye.

2. Little River band - the first cassette tape I bought with my very own money. Have you heard about the Lonesome Loser?

3. pond's - I use this old lady smelling cream on my face. My 93 year old grandma has always used it and barely has wrinkles.

4. Corn Dogs - I love corn dogs. Even the veggie dogs that aren't as bad for you.

5. Entertainment Weekly. I subscribe.

6. Rings - I lost both my wedding ring and my engagement ring.

7. California - I have never been to California (she hangs her head in shame).


check out Aaron Brown's 7 Random Things...and POST your 7 Random Things here!

Weekend Pow-Wow at ICC a Big Success!

Grand Rapids, Minnesota April 12, 2008:

Over 400 people attended the 20th Annual O-Gitch-I-Dah POW-WOW held at Mullins Gym at Itasca Community College (ICC) in Grand Rapids, Minnesota on Saturday, April 12, 2008. Participants included 153 registered dancers, 17 drum groups, and 12 vendors from five of the Anishinaabe tribes in Minnesota. Many non-native members of the community also participated which was one of the main objectives of this culture sharing event organized by the O-Gitch-I-Dah Club, ICC's American Indian student organization.

This was the first time in many years that the pow-wow was held on the weekend and with the recent snow storms O-Gitch-I-Dah Club president Charity Warrington-Curry was concerned about people staying away. Warrington-Curry said, "The turn out was huge and we really came together as a community. The 30 members of our club worked hard to make this happen and it's an awesome feeling for the pow-wow to exceed all our expectations. If there was one thing I would like to say to everyone, it would be 'chi-miigwech' ('big thank you' in Ojibwe)."

Early Saturday afternoon, several eagles were seen flying over the ICC campus which is a sign of positive spiritual significance according to Native people. The Grand Entries took place at 1:00 and 7:00 PM with Larry Aitken serving as spiritual advisor, Pete White as master of ceremonies, and Gary Charwood as arena director. The co-host drum groups were Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig and Leech Lake Nation. At 5:00 PM the feast was held in the ICC cafeteria. Traditional food like fry bread and wild rice was served by O-Gitch-I-Dah Club members and royality dancers from reservations in northern Minnesota.

The O-Gitch-I-Dah Club at ICC was founded in the 1980s and sanctioned by respected medicine man Jimmy Jackson. It strives to provide peer support and promote activities to increase the understanding of American Indian culture and heritage. O-Gitch-I-Dah is an Ojibwe word meaning "people we depend on to protect us." The club is open to all interested ICC students and encourages participation with all community members.

For more information about O-Gitch-I-Dah, go to or contact the organization's adviser Harold Annette at ICC phone (218) 327-4491 or e-mail

See KAXE's flickr page in days to come for photos from the Pow-Wow.

Aaron B's column: the unique aesthetics of the Iron Range


Blight Me: the unique aesthetics of the Iron Range By Aaron J. Brown
It’s spring on the Iron Range. I know this because last week we had to hire a guy with a loader to remove a million tons of snow from my rural driveway. Not a plow. A loader. Hello, spring!Maybe it’s just a little bump in the road on our way to the real spring. When real spring finally arrives, our thoughts will turn to the stuff that’s been hiding underneath that snow all winter long. The slow recession of winter’s white canvass reveals old cars, rebar, scrap lumber and sometimes even the fate of stray animals we used to see around (but not so much the last few weeks).

Someone I know who moved to the Iron Range from a small farming town once told me about her first impression of the Iron Range. The first thing she noticed was the rather eclectic collection of cars and other metal goods in people’s yards. I suppose as an Iron Range native I could have feigned outrage over this observation, but I know better. We Iron Rangers are a proud, noble people … who leave things in our yards.

One could argue that my perspective is skewed. I grew up on an Iron Range family-owned salvage yard out in Zim. (I have to be careful. My wife thinks I mention this more often than former presidential candidate John Edwards talked about “the mill). As a kid, if I saw an old car up on blocks in someone’s yard my response was, “what,just one?” We lived in a trailer house just a few dozen feet away from another trailer house that was packed to the ceiling with hubcaps. We would walk back to grandpa and dad’s shop along a path that wound through piles of aluminum cans and hulking dead machines of uncertain purpose. And this was all very normal to us, like oak trees and picket fences of Rockwell’s America.

That’s how it is on the Iron Range. I’ve heard theories that the Range’s love affair with junk has to do with our working class demographics or the fact that early miners weren’t able to own their own land, so they didn’t mind leaving junk out. Heck, maybe we just like junk. After all, the junkyard where I grew up was just a dozen miles north of the now defunct Sanitary Harry’s bar in Kelsey. The late Sanitary Harry ran for governor several times under the promise of “a car in every yard.” His drinking establishment gained a reputation for the odd junk that would be piled both inside and outside the building. In its last years, a friend told me the bar’s owners had literally shellacked random junk to the tabletops.

The first controversy I ever encountered in Iron Range journalism had to do with a county blight ordinance. Folks in the countryside wanted the right to keep spare cars on their property so they could harvest parts when needed. But big government was getting in the way. Cabin owners were complaining and deputies were writing blight tickets. Letters were exchanged. Public outcry against the policy ran surprisingly hot. The blight ordinance is still on the books today, but I don’t see any fewer cars on private properties out in the woods. I assume something of a junk car d├ętente took place behind closed doors.

Junk defines the Range and that’s not all bad. Along the Mesabi Trail near Hibbing, tourists from all over get a good look at rusted pieces of mining equipment that were simply abandoned near their final resting places. Some might question why that stuff was left there. The answer is clear to me. All who see these scrap metal specters know that the Iron Range is a place where people shaped the land and their children long outlived their machines. And that’s who we are.

I don’t mean to diminish the work of so many Iron Rangers in sprucing up their yards, property and homes. Many places around here look like the very picture of Americana. But I have to bear the truth that what many folks remember when they visit the Iron Range is the colorful, blue collar cornucopia of metal that adorns so many other yards. This sharp, rusted world is just coming into focus this time of year. Hey, I don’t mind. It gives the place character.
Aaron J. Brown is a columnist for the Hibbing Daily Tribune.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Final Day of the Fundraiser

It's the final day of our spring fundraiser and it feels like a snow day. The kind of day where you can breathe a sigh of relief and just enjoy the day in your pajamas. (after you've dealt with all that snow on your driveway of course!)

We've reached our monetary goal (our total as I type is $51,259) and are working hard to meet our goal of 400 members by 10 tonight. Currently we have 336! Thanks so much to all of you who pledged! Thanks for believing not just in community radio, but in your community.

As Margaret Mead said:

"Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

Here's a scene from KAXE volunteer Gail Otteson's yard where the Wabana creek flows in the springy-snowy weather of April 11th.

How much snow have you gotten? Send us a photo!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Dr. Michael Fox on tomorrow's Morning Show

It's the final day of the spring "Greatest Moments" fundraiser tomorrow and we're excited to have our friend Dr. Michael Fox join us at 8:15am. He's our monthly guest and a veterinarian, animal behaviorist, syndicated columnist and author who takes your pet questions.

Psst, here's a secret: we've got copies of Dr. Michael Fox's books available for pledgers at the $10/month - $120/year level along with the brand new totebag and subscription to Lake Country Journal Magazine. We've only got a few - 1 copy of "Dog Body, Dog Mind - Exploring Your Dog's Consciousness and Total Well-Being" and 2 copies of "Cat Body, Cat Mind - Exploring Your Cat's Consciousness and Total Well-Being". If you call (218-326-1234/800-662-5799) or pledge online first, you can get his books. BEFORE we even talk to him! A bonus for our blog readers!!!!

Dr. Fox is one of the many voices you hear on KAXE - we like him because he's real and he speaks his mind and he knows what he's talking about. Who is your favorite KAXE voice?

Potato Wild Rice Soup

Here’s the recipe for the soup from today’s lunch at 91.7 KAXE:

Butter, 2 T
Chopped onions and/or shallots 2/3 cup
Carrots about 5, peeled and diced
Potatoes, peeled and diced—lots!—enough to fill soup pot 2/3 full (we used reds today)
Dried celery tops, about 3 T (you can use a stalk of chopped fresh celery)
Cooked wild rice, 3-4 cups
Shredded gouda cheese from Green Pastures Dairy, 2-3 cups
Milk, 2 or more cups depending on the soupiness you desire
Dill weed, about a teaspoon
Salt to taste

You can vary the quantities according to how much soup you want and how you like it. This recipe made a big pot of soup for about 12 people!

Brown the shallots or onions in butter. After they soften, add the carrots and allow them to caramelize a little too. Add potatoes and celery and just barely cover them with boiling water. Cover the pot and bring it to a boil. Turn down the soup and allow it to simmer until the potatoes are well cooked, about 25 minutes. Breaking down the potatoes gives the soup some body.

Add salt and taste the soup. Stir in the wild rice. Reheat. Stir in the cheese. Reheat. Add milk and dill. Warm up the soup again, but don’t boil it!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


On today’s KAXE Morning Show Scott Hall and I talked to Jane Grimsbo Jewett about chickens. Jane is a farmer from Willow Sedge Farm in Palisade. She has produced many local food interviews for KAXE. In addition to farming, Jane also works for the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture.
Jane will present a free workshop about raising chickens and selling eggs next Tuesday April 15th at 4 p.m. at KAXE’s studios, 260 NE 2nd St, Grand Rapids Minnesota. Call KAXE if you’d like to attend (218/326-1234)!
Here are a few things Jane told us:
She just bought 100 chicks at L&M Fleet Supply. She chose Black Australorps because they lay well and are winter-hardy. Australorps were developed in Australia. They have glossy black plumage that has a greenish-purple sheen. She said Barred Rocks are also a good laying breed.
Jane told us chickens will be old enough to lay when they’re 5-6 months old.
Chickens will produce eggs in the wintertime if they receive 14 or more hours of light per day and have a little warmth in the coop.
Most layers produce eggs for 1 to 1½ years. Some people allow the chickens to molt and produce eggs another season. The average life span of a laying hen is 3-4 years, although some pet chickens can live much longer.
There is a growing demand for local eggs. Jane knows of some businesses that are looking for a reliable source of local eggs.
The cost of eggs at the grocery story has gone up considerably, due to the cost of grain and transportation. It is becoming possible for local egg farmers to meet the prices of non-local factory farms.
Jane feeds her chickens some grain all year, although the chickens can also forage. She notices that the chicken yolks become a deep orange color when the chickens start eating young shoots of grass.
If you’re thinking about raising chickens, come to the workshop!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Aaron Brown helps us with the weather blues

Here's his column from Sunday's Hibbing Daily Tribune:

In northern Minnesota there’s a fifth season, one that doesn’t really have a name and that most folks who live south of the Great Lakes couldn’t understand. For the sake of argument today I’ll call it “Pre-Spring.” This season peaks right now. It’s sort of like spring in that things are melting. But it’s also like winter in that the lakes are still frozen and if you send your kids outside for too long you might find them frozen to the side of your garage. It’s not just a season. I contend that it’s a test written specifically for the people of the North to ensure that our souls are worthy of our mailing addresses.

This past week I went for my first run in three months. In previous years I have maintained a disciplined (in that it could be measured) running regimen that spanned the full calendar year. When the weather got cold, I would dress warmly. When our road got slippery, I would wear these fancy chains on my sneakers. But that was all a long time ago (OK, a year), before I went from being a father of one to being a father of three. This year we have baby twins at home, a toddler and a crazy dog, so all my willpower collapsed to the floor where it was probably eaten by an infant crawling too fast to properly identify.

So my running had been on hold. That is, until I realized that it was pre-spring and that I wouldn’t need the foot chains or extra layers. There’s something about that level of involvement that kept me from running when there was so much going on inside the house. When you have to suit up, strap chains to your shoes and then run, stretch and shower you’re talking about 45 minutes at the least, probably an hour. In that time, our children may have possibly caused the house to implode due to the sheer force of their vibration. It really makes sitting on the couch a viable alternative to running.

Looking out the kitchen window one morning this week, however, I saw bright sunlight, flowing water on the concrete garage apron and patches of brown grass replacing the white canvas that had until recently been our yard. I wouldn’t need the shoe chains. One polar fleece and a pair of sweatpants would suffice. The babies were napping and the toddler was otherwise occupied. I could run and probably get away with it. So I did.

And it was great, except that it was deceptively cold. Despite the bright spring sunlight, a bitter north wind iced my hands. The melting snow on our dirt road was still slippery, which forced me to run in the sludgy mud along the roadside. The whistling wind forced me to turn up my iPod to an unsafe level, at least according to some doctor who said something that I couldn’t hear. (He looked very concerned. It was probably important). Though I enjoyed the first good run of the season, I couldn’t help but notice the strange season we all endure, but that few from down south (you know, Iowa) would understand.

We northern Minnesotans now live in a world where a pretty girl in shorts and a tank top could walk by moments before a blizzard buries our entire region. This is a difficult place to live. It’s hard for the human mind to comprehend such a place or such a season. Fortunately, we’re used to this around here. It’s just Pre-Spring, or Sprinter, or Winting, or whatever you want to call the weird time before temperatures, and perhaps our very existence, can be predicted.

Aaron J. Brown is a columnist for the Hibbing Daily Tribune. Read more or contact him at his blog

Sunday, April 6, 2008

From Aaron Brown's Blog - Community Media

KAXE's Community Web project is in part our own exploration into what the future of media might be - where will people get their news? How will friends/neighbors/fellow Northern Minnesotans communicate when even small town papers are owned by large conglomerates?

Aaron Brown is a frequent voice on KAXE and is firmly planted in the worlds of traditional media (weekly column in the Hibbing Daily Tribune and commentaries on KAXE) as well as new media (a prolific blogger at From time to time we sample his writing here - if you have an interest in Iron Range politics or media in rural areas - we suggest you keep up with Aaron on his blog. Here's a recent post of his:

A really interesting comment about local newspaper websites crossed the blog yesterday morning. As you may know, the ACM family of newspapers on the Iron Range now require readers to sign up for a free account to use its newspapers’ websites. A MinnesotaBrown blog reader responded to the change in this way:

What the hell are they thinking with this "free account" crap? I refuse to register. I find their sites difficult to use, and damned annoying in that they don't include all the articles. In fact, I've pretty much quit going to the sites at all because they try to make it hard for me to use their sites, in the apparent hope that by doing so, I'll buy a paper.Well. I don't. I am not a newspaper reader. I don't buy newspapers, and I'm not about to start buying them. I DO go to websites to read news. Presumably they derive ad revenue from the advertisers on their website who count on me to buy their goods and services just like those who advertise in the paper assume there is a connection between readers and sales.
I feel the Range papers are marginalizing their online readers. They are marginalizing the potential of their online business. And they are marginalizing their future existence.e hell are they thinking with this "free account" crap? I refuse to
register. I find their sites difficult to use, and damned annoying in that
they don't include all the articles. In fact, I've pretty much quit going to
the sites at all because they try to make it hard for me to use their sites,
in the apparent hope that by doing so, I'll buy a paper.
The comment prompted this thought on my part. If and when the storied “e-Media Revolution” that people keep talking about happens (the time when the Internet finally and fully absorbs the functions of "old media" like newspapers and broadcast TV) the first wall that crumbles won't be the big city daily papers or CNN, but the small town newspapers and local TV news affiliates. This massive change will happen from the ground up.

These are my own thoughts based on my experience as a college communication instructor, former Iron Range small town daily newspaper editor and current writer and blogger. I still write for the Hibbing Daily Tribune, so it's important to note that I'd like to keep that job and that I'm not picking on that publication (or its parent company and affiliates), nor can I reveal any trade secrets (if I ever really knew any). But I can talk generally about the struggles that small town papers face in the Internet Age.
Here’s the problem. Let’s consider a hypothetical small town newspaper that had a circulation of, say, 15,000 in 1988. This paper has probably lost half its readers since. Today’s circulation, 6,000-7,000, consists of people disproportionately older and less Internet savvy than the population at large. Meantime, new readers were learning that they could get a good deal of what they wanted from this hypothetical paper’s website. Papers without a website were openly mocked by the Web-proficient members of their community, to the point where all papers adopted websites. As these websites developed, enthusiastic news people realized that the Internet is a really great medium for the written word and the websites grew in popularity.
But web readers got the product for free, advertisers weren’t willing to pay much to get on the website and the whole effort was costing the industry gabuldyjillions of dollars (an approximation). Newspapers were well aware this was happening and their leaders held numerous meetings (believe me). Some tried password protecting their web versions, but few would pay to read the papers online. Others tried making their web versions so awesome that they could entice advertisers to buy online ads. Some customers did, but this still didn’t make up the revenue.
Let me crystallize the problem: More people (and most young people) are using the Internet to receive news, but no one has figured out how to make as much money operating an online news site as newspapers USED TO be able to make before the Internet. Because media consolidation has driven up the debt service on your average small town paper to well above what is financially prudent, the old revenue figures are crucial to maintaining company stock prices. Unless this problem is figured out (and that ship may have sailed) we are trolling toward a total media realignment that will begin not with the New York Times, but with all the small papers about the size of the Anytown Whig-Observer. When these weeklies, small dailies and mid-sized papers in competitive markets realize that their revenue has fallen so low that it is equal to what they could make off the Internet alone AND when a majority of their readers are already on the Internet (two things not yet true, but coming), they’ll reconfigure. Add in the fact that many newspapers are now either owned by or in some kind of partnership with a local television network affiliate, and we’re talking about united, multi-media news operations functioning with the same editorial staff and disseminating news on TV and high-end websites, or perhaps a yet unknown combination of the two.
Oh, but there will be hundreds of bankruptcies and tens of thousands of layoffs before this occurs, so let’s not get too excited.

I teach blogging seminars for the KAXE Community Journalism Project. I’m not speaking for them either when I say this. But there is an efficiency argument that the Internet is a much more cost effective way to gather and share news in small towns. Over time, I could easily see community news websites that combine video, audio and print content replacing the old media. We definitely aren’t there yet, but nonprofit community journalism operations like KAXE are way out ahead of commercial companies in small towns. Streaming media on the big sites like, and is great – and will remain the standard into the future. But the “revolution” won’t really be at hand until the dams break in small and medium markets. When it happens, the results will be part chaotic, part fascinating and most assuredly remarkable. And while people in today's media industry will be affected negatively at first, it's important to remember that we will still need journalists, editors, technicians, graphic designers and photographers in this new media.

Now, there’s no reason that my current employer (I hope still current after speaking this heresy) and its sister publications on the Iron Range can’t survive or even thrive through all of this, but doing so will require a nimble approach when the majority of their readers make the leap to the Internet. None of this will happen next year, but I expect that it will happen before long. And it will happen in every corner of the world.Even, perhaps especially, here on the Iron Range of Northern Minnesota (U.S.A., the World, the Universe).

PS: And for those who prefer political posts, I'll leave you with this: the biggest uncontrollable variable in the budget of a small town paper is the cost of employee health care. Guess what happens as a result? Layoffs and a gradually crappier health care plan.

Holtan Wrecks KAXE Kitchen in Soup Face-Off

Yes, it's true! Producer Heidi Holtan made a colossal mess in the kitchen in a vain attempt to win KAXE's first-ever soup throwdown.
She omitted that fact in her blog post below. Here's what happened:
On Thursday the staff realized there was no food scheduled for lunch on Friday of KAXE's Great Moments pledge drive.
Fresh from a weekend watching the Food Network during down time at the NFCB conference, Heidi and I agreed to create soups from ingredients found around the station. We could each bring an ingredient from home. Don Boese (a founding member of the local gourmet club) would judge the soups!
I brought a jar of home-canned tomatoes.
Heidi brought boullion cubes. She also claimed the entire contents of the KAXE freezer for her own.
I scrounged some garlic and part of an onion (left over from Chef Charlie's visit the previous day) from the fridge and asked Scott Hall if I could use some of his peanut butter. He said yes.
Heidi stole a frozen White Castle hamburger from Rev Dave. Rev Dave had written clear instructions on his burger box (something about death to transgressors) indicating that he did not want to share.
I browned the onions and garlic, seasoned them with curry powder and red pepper flakes (liberated from a puddle of honey in the lazy susan in the cupboard), added the tomatoes, a little water, peanut butter and a can of coconut milk (from the back of another cupboard--it had been there for a year, maybe more).
Heidi thawed the stolen hamburger in the microwave, whizzed it in the blender, added water and boullion, heated it up, and whizzed it again.
During the second whizzing, the burger water WHOOSHED out the top of the blender, across the counter, and splattered the walls! The entire kitchen was a disaster!
As you probably read in Heidi's blog post below, judge Don Boese liked the burger soup and declared the contest a tie.
He faulted the crunchy peanut butter in my soup and, although I thought the curry powder might curry favor, it did not. The soup was a bit spicy for Don. "They should be eaten together," he asserted. "The mild, all-American flavor [of a pulverized and watered down White Castle hamburger] is complemented by the spicy flavor of the peanut butter soup."
Was the curry powder too overwhelming? Will the kitchen ever recover? Should we find another judge?
We'll find out during the next KAXE food throwdown!

Chateau Blanc Recipe from the KAXE Throwdown

If you didn't hear the KAXE Cafeteria Soup Throwdown last Friday, Maggie and I were given the following instructions:

Make a soup from the ingredients currently in the Kitchen

Bring 1 ingredient from home

Wow the judge (Don Boese)

My ingredient from home was Beef Bouillon cubes. And I came up with what turned out to be a surprisingly good soup. Some call it the White Castle Soup, I like to call it the Chateau Blanc Soup. *

Here's the recipe:
1 frozen white castle burger (SORRY DAVE!)
1 beef bouillon cube
3 cups of water
day old French bread
1/2 cup onions
2 tsp red pepper flakes
dash of salt

Cut crusty french bread into bite size pieces. Heat butter, onions and red pepper flakes in a sauce pan. As it gets hot and bubbles, add french bread and fry up until browned. Set aside.

Follow directions on the white castle box for thawing/cooking in the microwave. Plop burger in a blender. Puree for 1 minute. Add to pan you cooked the french bread in.....add water - continue to stir. As it begins to bubble, put back in the blender to further puree (it was a little tough getting the bun completely pureed).

Put back in sauce pan and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Serve with breadcrumbs sprinkled liberally on top. Pay no attention to the terrible color and tell no one what you put in it! you'll be surprised by the reaction! Don Boese reacted "It is very American! Surprising!"

The only negative thing to come out of the 1st ever KAXE Cafeteria Throwdown was that no winner was declared. Don said he thought the two soups complemented each other so well he couldn't choose!!! Maggie and I will have to go head to head once again to find out WHO the KAXE Cafeteria Head Chef will be! Stay tuned for more....

*I don't recommend trying this one at home.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Cats Won!!!

new totals

with the poll and phone calls it's currently 32 cats and 28 dogs. GO CATS!

Dogs v. Cats on Between You and Me

Today we're talking dogs and cats and your greatest moments with them. Post them here!

And be sure to vote on the poll to the right - we're taking a poll throughout the show and will find out, finally, if it is DOGS or CATS.

Tune in from 10am - noon for Between You and Me on KAXE.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Gordon Prickett's take on Presidential Politics

Voters have spoken loudly in the Presidential Caucuses and Primaries, starting on January 3rd.

John McCain is the presumptive GOP nominee and all his opponents have withdrawn.

Barack Obama has won a large majority of the state contests and is way ahead with the popular vote. He has a sizeable lead over Hillary Clinton in convention delegates, that is highly unlikely to shift in the 10 or so contests remaining. But he hasn't yet secured a majority of all the convention delegates. That is, he has not sown up the Democratic Party nomination

Serious challengers Edwards, Biden, Richardson, Kucinich, and Dodd have all withdrawn after realistic assessments of their results.

What remains in the contest between the two Democratic finalists are, 1) unpledged super-delegates, and 2) the disqualified state Democrats in Florida and Michigan.

The impartial analysts seem to agree that Clinton's only chance at the nomination now is to somehow convince enough party leaders, super-delegates, and Obama-pledged delegates that Sen. Obama is "unelectable" in the November 4th contest with John McCain.

Which brings the news to a local focus - with three Minnesota super-delegates who remain uncommitted, unpledged. Do they think Obama can win?

Let's ask Rep. Collin Peterson, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, and former statewide candidate and current DNC member Nancy Larson. On KAXE's Morning Show.

With the endorsement by super-delegate Gov. Richardson the other day, the remaining most prominent "supers" are Jimmy Carter, Nancy Pelosi, and Al Gore.

I would pose them with the same question.

If most of the answers are affirmative, then I believe it is time for Sen. Clinton to step aside, like John Edwards did, and help elect a Democrat in the fall.

The nation now is ready for the formation of a national and a global agenda for the next four years and beyond. Let us discuss and debate this agenda, Republican versus Democratic. And let's "turn the page" in this campaign, and begin to write a new American chapter.

-Gord Prickett is a KAXE volunteer from Nord Lake in Aitkin county

Ojibwemowin: Giga-iskigamizigemin

Noongom gigii-tazhindaamin: today we talked about:

"Ondaanimad" (ohn-daahn-ih-mud), the wind comes from a certain direction;

"Ganabaj wii-kimiwan", it might rain, maybe it will rain;

"Giga-iskigamizigemin (Gih-guh-is-kihg-uh-miz-ih-gay-min): We're going to boil down the sap!

"Jiikendaamoog" (ji-kayn-duh-moog): they're excited, happy

"Woohoo! Gijiikendaamin ji-izhaayang idi imaa iskigamiziganing!" We're really excited to head out to sugar camp!

All Things Equine

Bethanne Perendy sat in for Bobbie Kleffman today on All Things Equine. Where else but KAXE can you hear in-depth conversation about horses and donkeys named Jack? She talked with Scott about training horses. Did you know you can hear archives of All Things Equine? Check here to do that.

A Report from Iraq on Today's Show

This morning Scott talked with Sami Rasouli - a man born in Iraq who lived and ran a successful business in Minnesota for over 30 years. In 2003 he returned to Iraq and was very disturbed by the conditions he saw caused him to sell his business in Minneapolis and move back to Iraq to do whatever he could to rebuild the country. Based on the model of the Christian Peacemaker Team he created the Muslim Peacemaker Team.

Sami will be in Northern Minnesota - he'll speak at the Vermillion Community College in Ely Wednesday April 2nd at 7pm at the VCC Lecture Hall. He'll be in Grand Rapids Thursday April 3rd atat Davies Theater at Itasca Community College from 10:30-noon and at Community Presbyterian Church at 7pm that same evening.