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Articles written by Ann Markusen

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 By Ann Markusen    Opinion    April 19, 2019 

Book Review | Girl Gone Missing

In this, the second Cash Blackbear mystery, Marcie Rendon serves up her Native woman protagonist's experiences as an older student in a largely white college. In probing the sudden disappearance of a...

 
 By Ann Markusen    Opinion    April 12, 2019

The Northland's language gem

It's not that easy to learn another language when you are well past your schooling. For five years, I've watched my husband, Rod Walli, learn Finnish, his parents' first language. Motivated by the...

 
 By Ann Markusen    News    April 5, 2019

Retired doctor pivots from medicine to watercolors

The Pine Knot is delighted to be exhibiting Dr. Lloyd Backus' watercolors in our downtown Cloquet gallery through April. I recently sat down with Lloyd, surrounded by his paintings. Lloyd was family...

 
 By Ann Markusen    Opinion    March 29, 2019

Contest!

It's been many years since I've been surrounded by students in their daytime setting, the high school. And I've only sporadically accompanied singers on the piano. In high school, I'd play the...

 
 By Ann Markusen    Opinion    March 15, 2019

The case for restoring polling places for Carlton County voters

Early this year, we had problematic elections in State Senate District 11. In Carlton County alone, 400 voters’ ballots mailed to the courthouse were not received by the primary election deadline....

 
 By Ann Markusen    Opinion    March 8, 2019

Central American refugees are fleeing terror, qualify for sanctuary

Claims that Central American refugees are coming northward seeking jobs, not sanctuary, are misleading. Those refugees face political, economic, religious, and criminal terror that drives them,...

 
 By Ann Markusen    Opinion    March 1, 2019

Paid sick leave: A family-friendly innovation

Here’s a predicament that touches most of us at one time or another: What happens when you’re too sick to go to work? Or a family member is so sick that they need your care? Among industrialized n...

 

Deaths comes in two versions

The abrupt death of my husband’s brother, Milt Walli, left both of us and our extended families wet-eyed for much of the week. Milt’s son Michael found him on Wednesday morning, dead on the...

 
 By Ann Markusen    News    February 8, 2019

Wright diner owner responds with determination to fire setback

The café in Wright had survived several rounds of ownership, most recently as Minetties Diner. It remained for years the only restaurant in Wright, a gathering place for weekly coffee groups,...

 

Mayoring a small city: Sharon Zelazny

To be a can-do attitude and solid people skills. Cromwell’s Mayor, Sharon Zelazny, has risen to the challenge, and she loves her job and her staff. Sharon and her husband Bill built a house on...

 

Native women artists share practice, fears, hopes

Last week, at Augsburg College, six exceptional Native women artists spoke about their work. Moderator Ananya Chatterjee, University of Minnesota dance professor, posed questions, the audience also....

 

Good books, new and vintage

Starting this week, the Cloquet Public Library is offering its Winter Reading Program to encourage people of all ages to read. Librarians have been asking area leaders to recommend five books for...

 

Democracy is a beautiful practice

I’m flying back from New York on New Year’s Day. Two years ago, I was prepping for a trip to D.C. to join the Women’s March. How discouraged and angry many of us were that a majority vote for...

 

Music blunts the chill of winter

The days shorten. The clouds deliver snow, ice, rain. On some mornings, Venus shines in the dawn sky. On other mornings, she hides. We spend more time indoors: in schools, churches, homes or...

 

Art and agriculture intersect, like hedgerows

Earlier this month, at the Magnolia Salon at Carlton's Oldenburg House, Annie Dugan presented challenging ideas on how art intersects with agriculture. She first showed a hilarious video of young...

 

Cromwell's Community Club pitches in for all

How do community members with a "can do" attitude organize to make their town a better place? This past Sunday, the Cromwell Area Community Club gathered for its annual dinner and meeting. Of course,...

 

Be ready for winter emergencies

Living at this latitude, we know how to dress for winter. Layers of woolens, an exterior casing of snow pants, heavy jacket, reliable boots with ample socks, a generous hat, a scarf to wrap around... Full story

 

How artists build careers in arts-rich rural Minnesota

Last week, I spent a day at University of Colorado’s College of Arts and Media. I’d been invited by their dean, Larry Kaptain, to present my work on artists’ careers. Since 2002, I’ve been...

 

Above the Earth

It's Halloween. I'm on my third flight to Zurich, Switzerland. What an expanse of beautiful land and water we've soared over! The fall blaze of orange, red, and chestnut leaves encircling the Duluth a...

 

'He's going to be a singer'

Sawyer teenager Joseph Kotiranta may be an accomplished singer now, but there was a time his parents wondered if he would even speak, let alone sing. Those days are long gone. Joey's father, Donald...

 

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