Sunday, September 30, 2012

Northern Minnesota Voters Guide 2012

Voters Guide 2012 From The International Falls Journal:

Each of the candidates in races were limited to 500 words in their total responses to the following:
1. Briefly summarize your personal background and experiences.
2. Why are you running for office?
3. What are your priorities?
4. Why are you the best candidate for this office?
5. Is there something else you want to tell constituents about

Full Article Link:{%223399457964819%22%3A418924944821526%2C%223399353402205%22%3A350192765071171}&action_type_map={%223399457964819%22%3A%22og.likes%22%2C%223399353402205%22%3A%22og.likes%22}&action_ref_map={}

Embarrass Region Volunteer Fire Department

Providing fire protection and medical care to the Embarrass and surrounding area. Embarrass Fire department - Doing a lot with a little for 50 years.

This is a great group of people in Embarrass who love and support the area community. Want to be part of the team? You can message the department on Facebook to find out more.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Precious Waters Flotilla Runs Aground In The 8th District Of Minnesota

Aurora Councilor Dave Lislegard and mining supporters converged quickly to meet the Precious Waters Flotilla Group on Friday, Sept. 22. At its first intended launch point, the precious waters flotilla group ran into opposition from those mining supporters in Aurora, Hoyt Lakes and surrounding iron range communities. Four adult anti-mining supporters showed up. It is interesting to note that these anti-mining folks showed up with a car and used a cell phone both of which are made with iron ore and precious metals. One would have to wonder where they believe these objects come from.  Local property owners were not willing to allow this group to trespass their property and local law enforcement was called to enforce this. Many good points of discussion were brought up to consider that should be thought through in a realistic manner. There is quite a bit of that not happening in certain environmental circles.

First Video Here: Mining Supporters In Place To Greet The Precious Waters Flotilla Group.
Law Enforcement in place to keep things civil and prevent trespassing by this group.
Second Video - A Discussion of issues took place which can be viewed here in this video: 


Time For The "Flotilla" To Hit the road and go paddle elsewhere.

Background Article Related to this interaction. Mesabi Daily Article: Mining supporters successfully raised trespassing issue; trip to Twin Cities doesn’t begin in Aurora.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Nolan Campaign Misinforms Voters, Minnesota 8th District Politics

Article Link:

Rick Nolan is saying that because Chip Cravaack did not increase Thye-Blatnik monies to the counties, he is stealing from them.  If passed, H.R. 5544 would keep the Thye-Blatnik payments the exact same.
  • H.R. 5544 steals federal Thye-Blatnik monies from St. Louis, Lake, and Cook Counties
  • Thye-Blatnik is a law from 1948 that pre-dates Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) in order to compensate three counties in Northern Minnesota who lost over a million acres of land to the federal government in the creation of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and later the Wilderness Area.
  • All payments under this formula are offset from PILT payments.
  • These payments are similar to payments received by the States of Arizona and New Mexico under the Act of June 20, 1910 (36 Stat. 557).
  • H.R. 5544 contains an amendment that would ensure the land transfer would not increase these payments, but it does not decrease current payments. The text of H.R. 5544 does not increase the federal budget or contain any earmarks.
  • Payments to Lake, Cook and St. Louis Counties remain unchanged.
  • Rep. Grijalva offered an amendment in committee to prevent increased Thye-Blatnik payments. The amendment was rejected because it also added NEPA back in. Hastings later added in similar language to keep H.R. 5544 from increasing the federal budget through Thye-Blatnik payments.
  • Grijalva sent intimidating letters to Lake, Cook and St. Louis Counties asking them what they used their Thye-Blatnik payments for and implying the committee was investigating the validity of those payments:
  • “The basic question is why should three counties get special treatment?  In addition, Congress has adopted strict rules against the use of earmarks and amendments have been adopted in the House that would eliminate such targeted use of federal funds.  While it is over 60 years old, Thye Blatnik is an earmark — one that would have likely gone undetected without this legislation.”)
  • Then, he had the gall to come to the floor and say he was concerned that the Hastings amendment, which had the same effect as his amendment, would cutpayments by $1 million to those three counties.
  • Unbelievably, Grijalva’s state of Arizona has a similar arrangement through the Act of June 20, 1910 (36 Statute 557). Both Thye-Blatnik (1948) and the Act of 1910 predate Payment in Lieu of Taxes (1976), which compensate states or counties for the federal government taking vast amounts of land from the states.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Political Fundraiser For Congressman Chip Cravaack, 8th District, Minnesota


Semer's Beach, Ely, Minnesota
  • 6:00pm until 8:00pm

Monday, Sept. 17th, 2012
Semer's Beach Ely, MN

Brats & Beans
Congressman Cravaack has OUR back
Come show that we have HIS back!


Coming to Ely on Hwy 169, at the first stop light turn left on Central Ave and go to stop sign on Camp St.
N Central Ave becomes N Pioneer Rd. Continue driving past Wilderness Outfitters, turn left on
W Shagawa Rd. Drive .3 miles, turn right on N Lakeview Ave. Drive .1 mile and turn left on W Lakeview Pl.Semer's Beach pavillion straight ahead. Hwy 21 from Babbitt, it becomes Central Ave. At the stop light at
Sheridan St, keep going straight to the stop sign on Camp Street.

Attend this fundraiser and thank Congressman Cravaack for getting HR 5544 passed in the House.
This will swap out the School Trust Fund lands in the Boundary Waters for Forest Service lands outside of
the Boundary Waters.

Minnesota 8th District Politics - DFL Candidate Rick Nolan And Fuzzy Math

Does the national democratic party voting record support our economy and the funding of our schools and communities? One might argue exactly the opposite if these mining projects are not brought to fruition.

$1 million a year over the next 6 years vs. the facts below: Here is an interesting type of convoluted logic by Minnesota DFL activist Shelly Mategko:

So, how did the parties vote?

House Vote 568 - H.R.5544: On Passage
Mainly Republican For And Democratic Against.

Here is where the fuzzy math with Rick Nolan comes in:

Economic Impact Of Mining Which Rick Should Have A Good Handle On:

To date, Twin Metals Minnesota has invested more than $150 million in exploration and project development activities, supporting more than 160 direct and consultant/contractor jobs. Capital investment to develop and build the mine in Minnesota is anticipated to exceed $2 billion.

Employment data show the continuing importance of the mining sector.
Minnesota Mining Employment and Payroll, NAICS Sector 21 2007
Year Average Number of Employees Annual Wages
2000 7,204 $350,473,934
2001 5,923 $294,987,664
2002 5,517 $273,016,618
2003 5,139 $279,122,837
2004 5,219 $295,623,992
2005 5,132 $311,659,581
2006 5,147 $335,058,894
2007 5,224 $342,887,555
2008 5,611 n/a

Twin Metals’ David Ulrich said that these mines will bring in around 5,000 high paying jobs. The average pay for industrial work is $46,000 he said, while the average pay for above-ground mining is $70,000. These jobs will have an average pay of $84,000.
Many of the metals that will be mined are not available in the United States. They have to be imported. This project could make the U.S. self-sufficient for many of these strategic metals.

Do very little math and the conclusion is obvious.
Now, which party would steal millions from northeastern Minnesota residents, our economic livelihood, communities and schools if these projects don't get underway?  If one were to follow Shelley’s logic through to a normal conclusion one would be inclined to say the democratic party. They seem to be more interested in locking up state lands in the boundary waters to satisfy the environmental extremist groups.

I don’t believe one can make this type of argument for our local DFL legislators in the State Of Minnesota but one can make this argument at a national level in government. The locals get the big picture, I wish I could say the same for the rest of the national DFL.

Now then, Mr. Nolan. Would you have voted for us or against us on H.R. 5544?

A yes or no answer will do.

Senators Franken and Klobuchar: I’d really like to see successful passage of effective bills supporting the land exchange and streamlining the environmental process. Congressman Cravaack has shown the way, it is up to you to take up the lead now in the Senate.

Here is Rick’s statement: I strongly support the school trust land swap proposal passed on a bipartisan basis by the Minnesota Legislature, signed into law by Governor Dayton and supported by the entire Iron Range Legislative Delegation. I applaud this leadership. It is long overdue and will be good for increased school funding and for increased growth in the natural resources economy of our district.

I am disappointed that Rep. Cravaack tried to rush a bill through Congress to capitalize on this, however, then stood by while his tea party Republican friends took out provisions that would have provided up to $1.0 million in annual payments to Cook, Lake and St. Louis Counties. These federal payments were originally agreed to when these lands were permanently taken out of the local tax base many decades ago. Local taxpayers will suffer and it is directly due to Chip Cravaack’s actions.

Rush a bill through? Hmmm, that's a stretch in the federal government with any type of bill.

Now if only Rick Nolan had been able to do what Congressman Cravaack has already done he could have taken credit for it, at least he applauds his leadership. This won’t bode well for Rick though with the democratic environmental radicals. What would you rather have Rick, 1 million a year or a multi million dollar economic impact to our district? I have to say his statement for 1 million a year gets Rick Nolan the Fuzzy Math Award for 2012.

This is about trust and who will do right by we the people in the 8th district and who will actually do the hard work to get us there. Rick Nolan has yet to make that case in my mind and he has a big anchor attached with the Friends Of The Boundary Waters and the other extremists associated with that party. Good job Congressman Cravaack, keep up the good effort, you are doing us right.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Iron Range Economy A Major Concern - Jim Tuomala, Republican Candidate For State Representative House District 3A

Below is a letter to the page from Mr. Jim Tuomala, Republican Candidate For State Representative House District 3A.

Open Letter to Citizens of House Dist.3A

Tuomala for State Representative
House District 3A

Election signs are popping up, promises are being made and political posturing is always part of the show.  Once again, shaping up to be a typical campaign season, but with a unique set of carefully crafted distractions.  So far this year we have had the ostensible   “ War on Women” and when that didn’t pan out, the gender question of who gets to marry whom is serving its purpose to distract the voter from any real issues at hand for which the blame can be squarely placed.

I am talking about the state of our local economy which is supported by some very hard data. Lately, the feel good indicator has been a claim to only 6.6% unemployment in our area. While this may be an interesting statistic, it does not account for under-employment, people who have moved away, people who have quit looking for work or the percentage of retirees in our area. A different picture emerges when we look at other key metrics from the U.S. Census. The annual household income in our area is from 7.6% to 15% below the state average, the incidence of public assistance is nearly twice the state average and our district, now 3A, has once again grown in size due to re-districting caused by a loss of population. These data indicators tell us we are underpaid, out of work and too likely to be on welfare. To support our families we too frequently have to move or accept public assistance. Meanwhile, district politicians are once again fiddling while Rome is burning. Unlike other election cycles in which jobs and opportunities have purportedly been a top priority, this year many state and federal lawmakers remain eerily quiet locally when it comes to pulling the pin on the “mining grenade”.

 Our current situation as stated above has not occurred suddenly- say over the last 8 years and over two separate executive administrations. It has taken decades for our true mess to come to the forefront.  We as local citizens no longer seem to be in control of our own destiny. Instead, we have been led by a nose-ring to the whims of outside radical environmental influences and their DFL co-pilots over the past 40 years.  Exactly what is “acceptable” prosperity in our area is now being dictated to us through our local DFL legislators.  What we can and cannot do for a living is being largely determined by environmental rules regarding logging, mining and farming.  Our local DFL duo, Dill and Bakk , and those preceding them, have not done much during the past  40 years that sustains economics or that promotes prosperity. The recent solutions have been to tax, spend and regulate our area into recovery. Although several “feel good” projects i.e., Giant’s Ridge, IRRB, Discovery Center and bike trails came out of the deal these things are certainly nice to look at and visit but can hardly compare to our true worth in both local skilled labor workforce and natural resource availability. The IRRRB’s only strategy for private sector jobs is to buy them; at stunningly high prices to the taxpayers. The tax money used to fund these projects has been a great waste. Job creation has been geared more toward low level service industry incomes rather than middle class skilled labor employment opportunities.  The difference is politically obvious to me since there must be sufficient low income earners at the polls as well as controlled growth of the more independent middle class.

Unfortunately it is the family unit that suffers the most in our area when it isn’t necessary in the first place. We have not been taken seriously for a long time. I think we need new leadership to re-focus our efforts on our traditional careers of mining, logging, papermaking, farming, and tourism. Once back on solid economic footing in our area we need to diversify with technology and other opportunities. These will come along naturally with an economically viable area similar to our North Dakota neighbors while sustaining us better locally during the typical up/down cycles.

Tuomala for State Representative
PO Box188
Babbitt,MN. 55706

Jim can also be followed on Facebook here:

District 2142 enrollment up - News: ipad, education, teresa strong, kim johnson, st. louis county school district

St. Louis County School District 2142 is becoming an education destination on the Range now, compared to some dark days it endured five-six years ago. Enrollment is up, and some academic recognition came from the state late this summer.

New schools, enhanced technology, better instruction and personalized student focus are all factors that District 2142 officials say are showing results.

District 2142 enrollment up - Mesabi Daily News: News: ipad, education, teresa strong, kim johnson, st. louis county school district: