A Circle of Grief: Wellstone and St Paul

Oct 22

A Circle of Grief: Wellstone and St Paul

Paul Wellstone died Oct. 25, 2002, with his wife, daughter, and a handful of extraordinary people who were known and loved in his adopted hometown, St. Paul. I wrote this for the Pioneer Press on the day after Paul died, to chronicle the mourning, the disbelief, the numbness 10 years ago, as St Paul became a tight-knit circle of grief. St. Paul was somber and...

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Hotter Than Blazes, With Snow

Jun 07

Hotter Than Blazes, With Snow

Video: The temperature reached 103 degrees in St Paul-Minneapolis on June 7, but that wasn’t enough completely to erase the Winter of 2010-2011 from our minds: At 2 p.m. today, with the thermometer at 97 and rising, a stubborn patch of dirt-crusted snow and ice remained — against all odds — glinting in the southwest corner of the Sears parking lot...

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Minnesota’s 153rd Birthday: May We Shine Again, Brightly

May 11

Minnesota’s 153rd Birthday: May We Shine Again, Brightly

The State Capitol crystal chandelier is not lit on this Statehood Day, as it would normally be on May 11. Instead, it is being re-furbished: A fitting metaphor for how Minnesota stands these days. Hail! Minnesota:   Click to hear a beautiful rendition of our state song — both verses! — by the Mahtomedi High School Chamber Singers. May the North Star...

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Life on the Edge: Spring?! in Minnesota

Apr 04

Life on the Edge: Spring?! in Minnesota

Spring and Minnesota are contradictions in terms. This photo was taken March 25 in Duluth, where an old herring boat called the Nels J stands in Canal Park, on the shore of Lake Superior. The lake side of the boat, after a gale that whipped up huge waves and then blew a field of pack ice into the shore, is covered with ice, about six inches thick. But the side of the...

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Slice of the City: Mohamed Gets His Man, and His Coffee

Mar 18

Slice of the City: Mohamed Gets His Man, and His Coffee

I was buying a book at the Highland Park Barnes & Noble in St Paul Wednesday, just after 6 p.m., when shouts and a loud commotion erupted in the adjacent Starbucks coffee shop, which opens into the bookstore. There were loud noises as first one figure, then another, rapidly went through the Starbucks door to the outside sidewalk.  I thought they were on...

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