Third time’s the charm

June 11th, 2024

Have been trying to get around Lake Superior for 3 years now, had campsites reserved, tent tested, but the first time in 2021 COVID remained an issue, then Leukemia in 2023, so it just wasn’t happening. Very frustrating, but as for reasons for cancelling, going really wasn’t an option.

So at long last, Sunday we took off for a 1/2 or maybe 1/3 tour of the south side, starting at Madeline Island. The Big Bay Campground is I think the best in all my travels. For cool campgrounds, Craters of the Moon takes the cake, but as far as a good state park, Big Bay State Park’s campground is it. Do I really need too come back? Well, there is a township meeting that’d be good to go to, but otherwise, most everything is online… and I’m not really back in the groove!

Maybe it’s the cost of the ferry that keeps away the obnoxious big trucks and trailers that cost more than my house and take up more real estate. There are no RV full hookups (whew!), and it’s mostly pit toilets and just one showerhouse for the two loops. Maybe it’s that there’s no phone or internet (there is a cool library!)… This campground is mostly tents, 90% ? and we’re in good company. It is SO quiet, no generators, no TV or radio blaring, no trains, just owls to “cook for you” and those birds starting at 4 a.m.

This was the biggest rig on the ferry, and just this one, plus one smaller one, a hard sided A-Liner.

If you avoid the touristy traps, Madeline Island is great, and I wish I’d reserved at least a week, because this is a real getaway. Our site has only 2 open days left for the season.

Sites are very secluded, probably as the season peaks, it’ll be louder, but right now, perfect.

Did I say the sites are HUGE? Big enough for 3 Wawonas, long gravel driveway, lots of room on the side.

And somebody loves camping!

Until today, the weather has been unbelievable perfect, cool at night, and low 70s in the day, and SUN…

And how the 1% lives:

…until today, but there is a library.

And of course:

And this too:

Taking away our freedoms?

June 8th, 2024

On May 21st… and after much thought and not a little fuming, another Letter to the Editor, published this weekend in the Republican Eagle:

Letter: Taking away our freedoms?

  • Published on Jun 7, 2024

Recently, at the Aurora Borealis rail gathering, I encountered two objections, and later saw a third recorded objection, to another person exercising their freedom of speech. That’s a fundamental right. It’s the law! Spence v. Washington, 418 U.S. 405 (1974) anyone?

That day, a man was quietly walking around the gathering, holding a large upside-down flag, a “Be Kind, Not Bullying” sign in back, and in front, “STRAY.” I didn’t understand his message and approached to learn his story. As we were talking, we were confronted by a verbally abusive man who jumped in and berated him for displaying the flag upside-down, and me for being with him and agreeing! A self-proclaimed former military man, sworn on oath to defend the Constitution, should know better. When I stood up for the Constitutional rights of the man with the flag, I was subjected to ignorant, illogical, and off-point retorts. Later, another man complained about the flag carrier off in the distance, objecting to his presence. I firmly reminded him of that man’s rights, and thankfully he didn’t harass. A frequent recorder of local events stated at length that the man interfered with his video of the train, but was there any discussion acknowledging his right to be there, any effort to respectfully work out a solution?

Those carping about “losing their freedoms” are often instead working to limit Constitutional freedoms that Americans have worked so hard to establish and maintain. Our state legislators are a prime example.  

A person’s perceptions and beliefs don’t outweigh someone else’s Constitutional rights. The verbally assaultive and harassing attempt to disempower someone else was unacceptable. Just stop, back off and let others express themselves. Like liberty and justice, freedom of speech is for all.

Carol A. Overland

Red Wing

Pat Tammen died late last month. Bob and Pat Tammen have spent so much time and energy working to keep Minnesota a great place to live, and to leave for the next generations. I met them hen working against Excelsior Energy’s Mesaba Project, and in many different contexts, about many different issues, ran into them so many times at the legislature, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the Environmental Quality Board, and the Public Utilities Commission, and at the EPA HQ up in Duluth. They’re two of the finest people around, and their efforts have made a difference here in Minnesota. Pat Tammen will be sorely missed.

Soudan Snowbirds – Bob & Pat Tammen

Minnesotans protest planned PolyMet mine at Toronto shareholders meeting

And from the MPCA:

Obituary of Pat Montana Tammen

Pat Montana Tammen was born March 22, 1937 in Missoula, Montana to Victor and Margaret Anderson (Quirk) and passed away May 27, 2024 after years of coping with congestive heart failure. The family returned to High Landing, MN shortly after Pat was born.

Pat’s mother died when Pat was ten and her dysfunctional father was usually absent. Her grandmother raised Pat and her sister but died when Pat was twelve. Another relative who turned out to be abusive stepped into Pat’s life and Pat ended up in Gillette Children’s Hospital for ten months at the age of fifteen with severely damaged hips in the days before hip transplants. The doctors repaired her to the point where she made many trips into the Boundary Waters in her adult years.

Pat worked herself through Mayville State Teachers College and then went to Bemidji State University for her Master’s Degree. She taught for a couple of years in Minnesota and then accepted a teaching position in Nenana, Alaska where she married Dean Larson who was killed in a car accident five weeks after their wedding.

Pat then accepted a teaching position in Ely, MN and in 1974 married Bob Tammen. During the 1980’s the Iron Range economy was in bad shape so Pat took a leave of absence and went along wherever Bob found work and taught in the local schools. She taught the children of the Mormons in Utah, miners in upper Michigan, loggers in Wisconsin and farmers in South Dakota.

She tried to help students understand, as we all should, that failed families do not have to produce failed children. We can all make a difference.

Pat returned to the Ely school system and retired in 1997. In retirement, Pat enjoyed the lakeshore on the South Kawishiwi River and worked tirelessly to defend her lakeshore and all of Minnesota’s natural resources.

Pat is survived by husband Bob, sister Therese, nephews Paul and Joe, great nieces Vanessa and Rachel, and great nephew Dalton.

Please send any memorials to your favorite environmental organization.

No public service is planned.

Today the ALJ’s Prehearing Order hit the inbox, and here it is:

I’ve incorporated the dates in the narrative, and the Environmental Impact Statement guesstimates into the chart on p. 3 and here’s how it lands:

Plenty of time to review everything filed so far, and decide whether or not to intervene! Mark your calendars, folks!

To look up the docket, go HERE TO PUC eDockets, scroll down and redundantly click on “Go to eDockets” and enter docket 24-68! Voila!