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  • Harry's Gang: Traditions hold on holiday

    Pete Radosevich|May 26, 2023

    I’ll bet many of you are clearing brush this weekend. I know my family will be. If city residents pile all our brush on the side of the roads within the Cloquet city limits, the city will come by and pick it up after next weekend. Look for more details in this edition of the Pine Knot News, or visit the City’s website for details. There are some restrictions and details you should verify before dumping a bunch of stuff at the curb. This is a great example of good government in action. No len... Full story

  • Harry's Gang: An ode to AM radio

    Pete Radosevich|May 19, 2023

    Gilligan and his pals relied on it to keep (relatively) sane. Fortunes have been made, legacies created, ordinary people turned into superstars. It’s been central to many movies and at least two beloved TV shows. It told us about the attack on Pearl Harbor and announced D-Day. It’s how we first learned about JFK’s assassination, and were introduced to The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. It had a Golden Age, a revival, and, most recently, a metamorphosis fueled by sports and politics. Many worked... Full story

  • Let's get real on gun rights

    Pete Radosevich|May 12, 2023

    I was just in Houston, and there was an amazing story circulating. Apparently, some guy was meeting his girlfriend for a date at a burger joint. Both parked their cars at a lot across the street, paying the attendant $20 each, which sure seems like a lot of money to park your car, doesn’t it? Well, the attendant assured these people that they would get a refund of the $40 if they showed a receipt from the burger restaurant, proving that they had eaten there. Sounds a little odd, but parking c...

  • Even stars are expendable

    Pete Radosevich|Apr 28, 2023

    Tucker Carlson, one of the most popular television personalities on Fox News, lost his job this week, to the cheers of liberals and to the tears of conservatives. But then Don Lemon, a liberal talk show host on CNN, was fired, too. That news softened the blow for conservatives who like to scream about the “liberal media” (a phrase about as false as the election fraud claims) and irritated liberals who like hearing Don attack conservatives on his weeknight show. I’ve never seen either progr...

  • We have the right to repair

    Pete Radosevich|Apr 21, 2023

    You don’t really own your land, right? The government just lets you use it as long as you pay your taxes, and, of course, you have to comply with zoning laws and all sorts of rules and regulations. Maybe you have a mortgage, so the bank owns some of your property, too. When I ask clients if they own a home, there’s a common answer: Well, I’m making payments to the bank. I hope to own it someday. I can tell you that “ownership” of real estate means that you have the right to occupy and control t...

  • Stances require democracy

    Pete Radosevich|Apr 14, 2023

    Sometimes lawyers have to argue in favor of issues they are opposed to. For example, a lawyer dedicated to First Amendment rights may defend a pornographer on constitutional grounds, although he’s opposed to the proliferation of smut. Or a criminal defense lawyer may feel icky defending a child molester but will still vigorously defend his client because he believes in our system of “innocent until proven guilty.” And sometimes a lawyer has to defend a county board’s right to declare their c...

  • Lawmakers have work to do

    Pete Radosevich|Apr 7, 2023

    The Legislature is gearing up to spend our money this week, so I thought I’d review some of the ways they plan to spend it. First, they are planning to increase wages and funding for the courts. As a lawyer, I can see the need. I’m not going to argue about why the court system is so busy and overworked, because there is another approach to solving that problem. Let’s just admit there is a problem, and increased funding will certainly help. The Legislature will increase salaries for court staff,...

  • Unions have a legit gripe

    Pete Radosevich|Mar 31, 2023

    It’s difficult to explain why, exactly, there’s a disagreement over the revised project labor agreement (PLA) requirement for city-funded economic development projects. Just asking the question is confusing enough. But like most political issues of the day, the solutions are both nuanced and obvious. It all stems from Cloquet’s requirement that private construction projects that receive city aid valued at over $175,000 (usually in the form of loans and tax-increment financing; the city rarel...

  • Conditionally, you can call me 'Pete'

    Pete Radosevich|Mar 24, 2023

    It was August 8, 1991, before I ever called my buddy Rolf’s dad “Bud” like everyone else did. Until that date, he had been “Mr. Kragseth” to me for over 20 years. This memory came back last week. I frequently drive the neighborhood kids to school along with my own; the five of them are pretty good buddies and it’s fun to hear them discuss the important issues of the day as we make our way to the middle school and high school. I used to participate in the conversation but as the kids have gotten...

  • Harry's gang: How safe is your money?

    Pete Radosevich|Mar 17, 2023

    Nothing strikes fear in a banker’s heart more than the words, “run on the bank.” It conjures up images of the Great Depression, the Great Recession, and Jimmy Stewart convincing his customers to believe in his savings and loan and stop taking all their money out, thus saving the bank and making a memorable classic movie. Mark Lanigan, president of Cloquet-area Frandsen Bank and Trust, is one of our local Jimmy Stewarts (or, maybe more appropriately, one of our George Baileys). I had a chat...

  • Harry's gang: we use a lot of salt, and it stays

    Pete Radosevich|Mar 10, 2023

    Thaw, freeze. Thaw, freeze. We’ve seen that cycle quite a bit this winter, especially as we close in on a record seasonal snowfall — will we beat the record of 113.4 inches? Stick around until May, and we’ll find out. There’s a lot of slush, too, which is fun to splash through while driving during the day, but becomes as solid as railroad tracks when it freezes. Humans have learned over the years how to beat the slippery ice. We use salt. A lot of it. Many places pour so much ice melt on thei... Full story

  • Harry's gang: These are gifts that never gave

    Pete Radosevich|Mar 3, 2023

    Gift certificates are very popular presents. They have been since at least 1978, when my sister Zora gave me a McDonald's certificate for Christmas. Fifty cents, which bought a burger and maybe a drink back then. I don't know what it could buy now, but I'm sure it could still buy something, because I still have the gift certificate, safely stored in my home office along with my passport and the kids' birth certificates. I'll probably let my heirs fight over it after I'm gone. They'll have quite...

  • Nuclear should be part of energy planning

    Pete Radosevich|Feb 24, 2023

    "Drill, baby, drill” is a fun slogan for those of us who can’t imagine a world without gasoline, and the protests over the Line 3 project cutting through Carlton County show that plenty of people would like to do away with petroleum altogether, as soon as possible. Both extreme positions are wrong, but they each have a point. Our reliance on oil won’t disappear any time soon, but if we don’t start planning for a world without petroleum, we’ll suffer at the unpredictable whims of future oi...

  • Running for office brings insight

    Pete Radosevich|Feb 17, 2023

    It’s good to be back. Running for office was an interesting experience, but one of the most fascinating things I learned was how little most voters think about our lawmakers and how our legislature works. It turned out I, too, knew a lot less than I thought I did. It’s amazing how much you can learn by getting out and meeting your neighbors across the district, which covers all of Carlton County and a few adjacent townships in St. Louis and Pine counties. While campaigning, people were alm... Full story

  • Harry's Gang: Patty was an inspiration

    Pete Radosevich|Jul 1, 2022

    I owe my career to Patty Murto, and now that she's no longer around to thank, Jana is letting me do it through this column. Not that I haven't thanked her before. Over the years, I told Patty plenty of times that she's responsible for getting me started in my own law practice, and she always pretty much responded in the same way - "nonchalantly" is the best way to put it. Patty was one of the rare do-gooders in this world who were not in it for the glory. Nor was she in it for the power. I don't... Full story

  • Harry's Gang: See you on the campaign trail

    Pete Radosevich|Mar 18, 2022

    This will be my last “Harry’s Gang” column for a while. I have decided to run for Minnesota House of Representatives in District 11A, which encompasses all of Carlton County and a small part of Pine and St. Louis counties. And I can’t do both. So, I’d like to share some of my random ideas I’ve accumulated since we started this paper a few years ago. My dad used to say that when just as many liberals complain that the local paper is too conservative as conservatives complain the paper leans... Full story

  • Harry's Gang: If I had a seat in St. Paul...

    Pete Radosevich|Mar 4, 2022

    If I were our representative in the Legislature, here’s how I would approach some of the issues they are considering in St. Paul this session. For decades, “gaming” — which is a softer term meaning “gambling” — has been confined to the Native American casinos across the state, the Minnesota lottery, a couple of horse and dog tracks, and nonprofits using pull tabs and the like in local establishments. Now, it’s no secret that all sorts of gambling has been going on privately forever. I’ve b... Full story

  • Harry's Gang: Don't put away your masks quite yet

    Pete Radosevich|Feb 18, 2022

    Now that the city’s mask mandate has ended, and most schools are removing their requirements that students wear masks at school, we can all hope that the pandemic is waning and may soon be over. Not so fast. This pandemic was caused by a new and tricky virus, and even after two years, we simply don’t know enough about it yet. Some reports say it will be with us forever, much like the flu or measles. Others say it may die out, like SARS did a few years ago. Still others think we may be able to... Full story

  • Harry's Gang: We need police, yes, but we also need police reform

    Pete Radosevich|Feb 11, 2022

    I’ve taught my kids that cops are the “good guys.” That cops can be trusted. If my kids find themselves in trouble, I’ve told them that the police will help them. Of course, most cops look a bit intimidating to little kids. They’re in uniform, wear belts full of tools, including guns, handcuffs and stun guns, and sport shiny badges. They have the ability to arrest you and put you in jail. I’ve taught my kids they have to show respect to the police. If an officer asks you to step aside, you... Full story

  • Harry's Gang: Single-issue politicians don't serve voters well

    Pete Radosevich|Feb 4, 2022

    Business people often think that any government regulation is an intrusion into their business and should not be allowed. In fact, that theme has become a plank in the Republican platform, as evidenced by the likes of Grover Norquist — who had some success in the earlier part of this century with his “no new taxes” pledge — and with recent politicians who have campaigned on a promise of eliminating government regulations. Sometimes they are right, and sometimes they are wrong. For example... Full story

  • Harry's Gang: Vote on schools coming

    Pete Radosevich|Jan 28, 2022

    The Minnesota Legislature starts up again next week, and while it’s fun to make fun of lawmakers, they really do an important job in our society, and most of them take their job very seriously. There are some pretty big issues to debate this year, including the budget surplus (Democrats want to spend it; Republicans want to lower taxes); setting new boundary lines for elections; and dealing with the pandemic. It will be fun to watch. They will also discuss an amendment to the Minnesota c... Full story

  • Harry's Gang: What would we do?

    Pete Radosevich|Jan 21, 2022

    I wonder what would happen if hundreds of strangers suddenly got stranded in Cloquet. Maybe a huge blizzard hits while we’re hosting a big hockey tournament? Or tragedy strikes on a summer Sunday afternoon, when seemingly a million people are passing through town on their way home from the weekend. I guess it’s pretty unlikely, but it could happen. There was indeed such a scene after 9/11, when 38 planes were suddenly grounded in Gander, Newfoundland, leaving almost 7,000 passengers str... Full story

  • Harry's Gang: A gentleman of many talents

    Pete Radosevich|Jan 14, 2022

    Strangely, in my career, I’ve made a lot of friends just by suing them. It sounds odd, doesn’t it? But it’s true. Usually, it would seem, lawsuits more often end up making enemies out of friends. But it doesn’t have to be that way, especially if both sides are respectful and treat each other like gentlemen. That’s how, not long after I moved to town, I became friends with Cloquet’s No. 1 Gentleman, David Johnson, who passed away this week. I was working for the Newby law firm and was assigne... Full story

  • Harry's Gang: Weeds are thick in redistricting efforts

    Pete Radosevich|Jan 7, 2022

    The whole point of a representative democracy (which is the form of government we have used in the United States for a couple of hundred years or so) is to elect one person for every certain number of people. We could use a different form of representation, maybe letting each group of like-minded people have a representative, like plumbers can elect a representative, or dog lovers get a representative, or any other myriad ways to elect leaders, but we don’t. It’s based on population, the tru... Full story

  • Harry's Gang: I am boldly predicting where others fear to tread

    Pete Radosevich|Dec 31, 2021

    Last year’s predictions were so eerily accurate that some people thought I had cheated, like maybe I had looked up the answers before making my predictions, which is, of course, impossible. My 12-year-old son, Patrick, suggested that maybe I had invented a time machine, as he thinks I am both brilliant and handy. But, alas, there is no time machine; I am just that good at predicting the future. So, I again share my talents with you and make my remarkably accurate predictions for 2022: • Tar... Full story

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