Thursday, October 29, 2009


Thanks for asking! KAXE is a grassroots organization that isn’t part of any other larger corporation like Minnesota Public Radio, WWF, HGTV or Oprah’s vast media empire. When you tune in you hear the voices of the people who make up this unique place where we live. Bobbie Kleffmann shares her love of horses with us on All Things Equine John Latimer lets us into his fascinating world of trees and bugs and critters in the world outside our windows – Dan Houg shares his experience building and driving his French fry grease/biodiesel powered car and John Bauer. John Bauer. Sigh. Where else will you hear someone grumble about throwing cigarette butts on the ground or tell a story of a car chase to chew out a lady for running over a turtle? KAXE has a mission to build community in Northern Minnesota. The way we do it is to ask you to go beyond listening and become members.

We put together our budget every year and ask our members for the amount we need to keep KAXE on the air.Some of our bills include our membership to National Public Radio. This enables us to bring you great programs like Morning Edition, All Things Considered, The World Café and Car Talk. These programs alone (with satellite costs) are $32,569.

Did you ever wonder what it costs to operate a radio tower?Our yearly tower bills add up to $24,388.

This fall we’ve condensed our fundraiser from 12 days into 6 and are well on our way to by Saturday night. Our current total is $27,785 and we need all of you to renew or become new members to KAXE!

We all feel so lucky at KAXE, not only do our members come through for us during our fundraisers, but supporters go above and beyond the call and donate items that they hope will entice other people to support KAXE. These gifts alone show you what the community of KAXE is like. Sometimes it’s hard to get across on the air what the items are, so here’s a list of what YOU can get when you become a member of KAXE.

Green Man Organic Garlic. Thanks to Lowell Johnson in Brainerd for donating 5 lbs of German Extra Hardy Organic Garlic to KAXE. Right now is the perfect time to get your garlic in the ground to get a good crop by July 2010.

Minnesota Gopher Basketball tickets. Thanks to Rod Moberg for donating 2 tickets for the MN v Tennessee Tech game on 11/13/09 2 tickest for the MN v Stephen F. Austin on 11/16/09.

Crow Wing Food Coop Gift Certificate for $25. Any new member is eligible for this when you pledge

4 Course Dinner for 4 at The Front Parlour. Thanks to Terri for donating this! See their website here.

Thank to Bonnie the Plant Lady from Sunshine Gardens for donating some basil to bring some green into your Minnesota winter!

Homemade Brats from Willow Sedge Farm. Thanks to Jane Grimsbo Jewett for donating her farm fresh brats

Peter and the Wolf at the Reif Center in Grand Rapids. Thanks to David at the Reif for donating tickets to Peter and the Wolf on Friday November 6th at 7pm. Go here for more information.

All of these thank you gifts are available at our $10/month $120/year or above! DO IT YOURSELF and SUPPORT KAXE! Call us at 800-662-5799 or 218-326-1234. Go online to and become a member of something you believe in!

Join us tonight! Tonight at 6pm KAXE welcomes Timmy Haus & Friends for a special live audience edition of Centerstage MN. Timmy Haus* is a blues, roots and folk rock singer/songwriter originally from McGregor. He was a founding member of Friends of Yoder and has been performing throughout MN and the Midwest for over 10 years. Join us in person or on the airwaves tonight!!!

Help Keep It Going: $27,875 from 212 Members

Have you ever experienced homemade Kombucha? Plan to build your own home? Maybe you know someone who raises chickens as family pets? There are as many different DIY projects as there are people and we've been hearing a lot of amazing stories. Like a spare-time home brewer following his passion and now managing a brewery in Minneapolis. Or wool spinners and cheese makers. It doesn't matter if you consider mowing the yard a "big job" or if you think building your home is an every-5th-year enjoyment; we need your support of independent local radio in Northern MN and listening support is our single largest source of funding. We are community radio, and you can hear it when you listen - real voices of real people telling real stories. It's truly local, independent community radio. And, we also bring a lot of these voices and stories to you online as we merge an "old" media like radio with the new media age (follow along on Facebook, Myspace and Twitter for real-time updates). We are on our way to $50,000 by Halloween night to make our budget and listener support is our single largest source of funding, Do It Yourself and call 218-326-1234 or 800-662-5799, or Pledge Online! Click here to see do-it-yourself projects at KAXE...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Read This Or Jeremiah Will Stab You

by Doug MacRostie

KAXE is like nothing else you'll find, not only in northern MN, but beyond - and it's something you should be a part of. You should support KAXE. Yes, I'm talking to you. In one way or another you found this post, and however close or far the connection between you and I may be, I think YOU should pledge your support...right now: You don't want to be chased by Jeremiah driving a 4 wheeler with a sword do you?

Why support KAXE?

Somewhere between the Phenology updates about the nature happening around me and the new Flaming Lips CD during On the River, KAXE finds that excitable spot in my brain and stimulates the hell out of it. When Heidi interviews on author on RealGoodWords I'll hear the most interesting conversations about something I've never even knew to think about. Then a curve ball about reestablishing Bison herds into the ecosystem comes out of A Talk On the Wild Side and mix in a true variety of music and you have a good starting to point to appreciate KAXE. And things like that happen all the time! Even this morning there was a promo for an upcoming history piece on the last official battle between Native Americans and the Federal Government which occured back in 1898 on the Leech Lake Rez.

KAXE is community radio, and that means something. It means that real people from the area come in and share their stories (or swords...), it means local news and information presented by the people involved (or swords...), it means volunteers from all over Northern MN coming to the station to play music they're passionate about. That is something worth highlighting - we don't tell the volunteers what to play, they arrange their own playlists which means you really could hear anything at anytime On the River (instead of the same 50 songs over and over like you hear on commercial radio). And we're also working to bring these voices and stories to you in new media formats. These are just a few of the thousands of examples of what makes KAXE special and unique and VERY valuable resource to this region. I like KAXE because it expands my my mind & it challenges me with different perspectives and ideas.

And while I don't actually threaten bodily harm, it's worth noting that local hero Jeremiah Liend has easy access to a wide selection of do the right thing and support KAXE, independent local radio.

Still not convinced? Then I invite you to come to the studios this Thursday night at 6 to see first-hand what we're all about. For this special edition of Centerstage MN I'll be joined by Timmy Haus and John Wilber with live music - as part of the audience, you'll be able to see the behind the scenes happening that go into producing a live program and enjoy some excellent tunes. Timmy and John will be playing acoustic roots, blues and rock tunes and they too will ask you to support KAXE.

Centerstage MN is Thursday evenings at 6, streaming live online at; or 91.7 Grand Rapids, 89.9 Brainerd and 105.3 Bemidji. All interviews are archived at and the show is rebroadcast Sunday mornings at 6.

DIY - With A Little Help From Our Friends

From getting firewood ready, to baking bread, to building a home and even building a log tool shed - we've heard from all kinds of people who believe in KAXE and what we do. Wednesday mornings really highlight the independent, self-sufficient, DIY lifestyle of Northern MN with Maggie's Local Food Reports about people growing, producing and selling local food in the area along with local history features ranging from the Big Fish in Bena to the last official battle between the Federal Government and Native Ojibwe of Leech Lake back in 1898. Every week, and actually every day, KAXE brings people from all walks of life and backgrounds to the studios to share their stories and information. It's truly local, independent community radio. And, we also bring a lot of these voices and stories to you online as we merge an "old" media like radio with the new media age (follow along on Facebook, Myspace and Twitter for real-time updates). We are on our way to $50,000 by Halloween night to make our budget and listener support is our single largest source of funding, Do It Yourself and call 218-326-1234 or 800-662-5799, or Pledge Online!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What's So Exciting About KBXE?

If you look carefully at those distinctive green KAXE bumper stickers, you might notice something different…on some of those stickers the “A” in KAXE has been replaced with a “B.” You are seeing the very first bumper stickers for Northern Community Radio’s new station that will serve Bagley, the Bemidji area, and points west: KBXE!

90.5 KBXE has to be on the air by March 23, 2012! Building a new radio station is a whirlwind of problems to solve and opportunities to seize, but collaborating with folks from Bemidji and Bagley has been a lot of fun. KAXE members from the “western fringe” are sharing their creativity, knowledge of the area, and professional expertise. Committees are hard at work, progress is being made in the search for studio and tower space, and we’re figuring out how we might raise a pile of money in tough economic times. Fashionable folks across northern Minnesota are sporting enigmatic green buttons on their shirts and coats that ask, “What is KBXE?”

There are lots of reasons for excitement! One of those reasons is that KBXE will be founded in 2011 or 2012, and it will have the benefit of everything we’ve managed to learn at KAXE over the past 33 years—all those mistakes and triumphs that have taught us important lessons about being an authentic local radio station for northern Minnesota.

KAXE was founded in 1976, and there will always be a lot of 1976 in KAXE. As much as we pride ourselves on KAXE’s good reputation and its contributions to the wider world of community and public radio, the inertia of the past sometimes makes it hard for us to adopt new ideas and methods. With KBXE we can create an innovative and thoroughly modern version of our medium. KBXE will reach out to new people. KBXE will develop its own quirks, its own attitude, new programs and sensibilities.

Here’s another exciting thing: At the first KBXE community meeting in August, people clearly said they hoped we would build in the ability to pass a signal back and forth between KAXE and KBXE. Sometimes KBXE’s program would be on both stations and sometimes KAXE’s program would be on both stations, and sometimes each station would operate independently, broadcasting separate programs.

A relationship like this between stations is fairly unusual in broadcasting. A more normal model is for a lead station to broadcast to one or more repeaters without give and take, except maybe for the occasional remote studio interview.

This way of passing the signal back and forth has the potential to bring about some positive consequences. In northeastern and north central MN, KAXE has helped create a sense of neighborliness and belonging. That’s our mission. We call it “building community.” The relationship between KAXE and KBXE may help create an even larger sense of neighborliness—a sense of “northern Minnesota-ness”—that stretches across the whole top part of the state!

In the overall world of radio, community stations are fairly rare. There are only a handful of community-licensed stations in Minnesota. KBXE and KAXE together will help us bring out the best of the culture of our region and show it off as few other media organizations can. What we are building here is going to take a lot of work, but it will be a wonderful asset!

I hope you are all as jazzed about this as I am! Call us if you’d like to help with this project, or if you want one of those new KBXE bumper stickers or a fashionable “What is KBXE?” button: 800/662-5799 or 218/326-1234.

Stay tuned. There will be more reports as things develop…

-Maggie Montgomery

Moving Right Along: $18,360 from 142 Members

Everything is in double time around the KAXE studios - we're raising the same amount of money for our Do It Yourself fundraiser, but in half the time. We are off to an outstanding start and we need to keep this momentum going. We need everyone to pledge their support to KAXE - an independent rural community radio station that has been on the air since 1976. How on earth is all this good radio possible? It's people like you, listening, supporting and volunteering at KAXE. Thanks for your pledge! We don't ask for more than you can afford, every little bit adds up! Call 218-326-1234 or 800-662-5799, or Pledge Online! Click here to see do-it-yourself projects at KAXE...

Monday, October 26, 2009

$8,921 from 71 Members and Counting!!!

Karen Oothoudt is helping us raise money this morning, and from rendering their own lard to installing cast-iron radiators - KAXE listeners have been doing it themselves and pledging their support for independent local radio!!! We're raising the same amount of money as last year, but we're going to do it in half the time with your help during the Do It Yourself fundraiser! Look at your budget and see what you can afford to contribute over the next year (whether it's $1 a day or $5 a month) and call 218-326-1234 or 800-662-5799, or Pledge Online! Click here to check out pix of Bauer rendering the fat...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Don't Try This At Home

We're gearing up for the Do-It-Yourself KAXE Fall Fundraiser* and today we asked people to call in with their "don't try this at home" stories.

KAXE member John Longnecker from Ideal Corners called in to tell us about his shed. "Like lincoln logs" he said. "I'll never do something like that again! The only thing that is new is the shingles. I cheated on the shingles."

It's a beauty though, don't you agree? While John will not build this structure again himself, he has agreed to "consult" with you on your lincoln log shed. (for a fee!)

John is like so many people that live in northern Minnesota, when he needs something done, he does it himself. Even when it comes to media John doesn't wait around for someone else to get things done. He's a proud member from Ideal Corners, Minnesota. Do you listen to KAXE? It's time for YOU to do it yourself. Be a member of KAXE! Like John, you'll be glad you did it yourself.

*We'll be on-air fundraising for the Do-It-Yourself Fall Fundraiser from October 25-31st. We're raising the same amount of money, in half the time. You can pledge ANYTIME online! Thanks so much!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Winter Baseball: A Couple of Hunches

by Scott Hall

I've watched a lot of baseball over the last three weeks and I've seen a lot of fans in the stands wearing parkas, stocking caps, and gloves; and covered with blankets. As long as the professional baseball season is going to run right up to November, I've got a hunch someone is going to seriously propose a neutral site for the World Series. No one I've talked to thinks it's a good idea, and for that reason, I don't have a strong conviction that it will happen. On the other hand, you could probably argue that baseball could create a four to seven day celebration the way the NFL packages the Super Bowl.

The weather was cold and wet during the week that the Twins played the Tigers and then the Yankees in the last two games in the Metrodome. It occurred to me that if the Twins are in the playoffs next year, maybe these weren't the last ML baseball games in the Metrodome. I don't know any fans who aren't excited about outdoor baseball returning to Major League baseball in MN, but how many postponements would it take to move back inside just to get the games played. Just a thought.

I think I can safely predict the Twins will start selling some of those very fashionable baseball caps with ear flaps. We'll probably need them. What do you think?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Centerstage MN Is Going to Rock Your Mocs Off

by Doug MacRostie

I've always been interested in pow wow music. I used to go to pow wows with my cousins and I always really enjoyed the food, the bright colorful clothes of the dancers and the overall feeling of pride and power. But what has always struck me most is the singers and the pounding of the drum. Thursday night at 6 on Centerstage MN I'll be talking with Johnny Smith, founding member of The Red Lake Singers about the new release "Old Times," They made this recording to capture and preserve the old songs and styles of singing of the Ojibwe people of Red Lake, one of the most traditional Indian communities in the country. I'll be talking with Johnny about the culture, history and purpose of pow wow music.

I'll also play a recording of Keith Secola and Melanie Storm performing live on Centerstage MN back in Nov. 2007. Keith is an outstanding contemporary Native American songwriter, he has an innovative edge while utilizing traditional native percussion and world beats. Melanie was phenomenal, and as you'll hear she has a truly beautiful singing voice and the energy between these two is unmistakable.

I'll be starting the show off with a young lady from the Case Lake/Bena area named Ann Aitkin, she released a CD of native bibigwan (flute) music called "Minotam Injichaag." We'll also hear from Deer River mother and musician Annie Humphrey-Jimenez, multi Native American Music Award winner. She had musician and activist John Trudell join her for the song Spirit Horses from her album "The Heron Smiled."

Centerstage MN is Thursday evenings at 6, streaming live online at; or 91.7 Grand Rapids, 89.9 Brainerd and 105.3 Bemidji. All interviews are archived at and the show is rebroadcast Sunday mornings at 6.

Do It Yourself!!!

As you can see in the picture, there are lots of ways people do things themselves. Ever try to fix a garage door? Or paint your own car? Maybe you tried to walk a tight rope across the mighty Mississippi River? Whether you succeed your not, take great pride in doing things yourself, and one thing can do without the risk of bodily harm is pledge your support to KAXE! Our Fall Fundraiser is on the way - we're raising the same amount of money in half the time. The "Do It Yourself" Fundraiser starts on Sunday Oct. 25th during Backporch Harmony and runs through Halloween on Saturday, Oct. 31st. If you'd like to pledge early, it will still count towards our $50,000 goal, just click here!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Name That Cello!

by Scott Hall

For about a year now volunteer Kathy Dodge has been getting up at five on Monday mornings to co-host KAXE's morning show. Many of those mornings she brings her cello and parks it a dark corner next to our conference room. The cello is used to performaing before large audiences and will soon become a co-host of the morning program. But first we need to name the thing. Any suggestions?

Lets Make it Happen!

Listen to a message from Click & Clack The Tappet Brothers from Car Talk about our upcoming Fall Fundraiser - we're raising the same amount of money in half the time. The "Do It Yourself" Fundraiser starts on Sunday Oct. 25th during Backporch Harmony and runs through Halloween on Saturday, Oct. 31st. If you'd like to pledge early, it will still count towards our $50,000 goal, just click here!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Now Hear This! Audio Highlights from KAXE

There is always a lot going on around the KAXE Studios, and this last week is a good example. Here is a sampling of recent audio highlights:

Making Sausage of Proposed Out-State Health Coverage
Republican commentator Chuck Marohn and DLFer Colleen Nardone talk about Governor Pawlenty's proposed change to allow Minnesota residents to buy health insurance from companies located outside the state.

Guido's Guide to the Arts
Steve Downing (Guido) is what you might call a renaissance man. Writer, patron and slave to the arts, hunter, hair model, connoisseur of fine wine, beer and food, recycler and fashion guru.

Heidi and the Bullhead Queen
Minnesota author Sue Leaf talks about her memoir "The Bullhead Queen: a Year on Pioneer Lake" where she asks the questions what is our relationship to wild animals and what is our responsibility to them?

Digging For Your Roots
The 28th Annual "Digging For Your Roots" Genealogy and Local History Conference is Sat. Oct 17th at the MN Discovery Center in Chisholm and we talked with Dr. Melissa Stewart, the new museum director and she talked about tracking down the source of a quilt.

Gun Lake Potato Farm
Roger & Markel Vogt talked about the potato harvest this year, and the growing season, varieties and marketing the Gun lake Potato Farm in Palisade.

Monthly Forestry Update w Eli Sagor
University of MN Extension educator Eli Sagor gives his monthly update about Minnesota forests. Eli manages

Namco Museum Essentials
A downloadable game for the PS3 network which includesPacman!!! But is there anything else do this boringly-named game? LISTEN!!! And enjoy more at The Binary Boys page.

The Public Speaking Bear is Going To Maul You
Aaron Brown would much rather give a 5 minute talk than die horribly before his time.
Public speaking is a like a bear that never kills but instead just bats you around for 15 or 20 minutes every time it sees you. Check out more from Aaron at his blog On Between You and Me.

Subtleties for Sound Bites?
Michael Goldberg has the Last Word on
"Public Speaking." Let's face it, things were never like they used to be...what about our own time, right now - when all the world is one wide web. On Between You and Me.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

We Can't Do It Without You

By Jennifer Poenix

KAXE's fall fundraiser begins in a few weeks on Sunday, October 25th, during "Backporch Harmony." It's going to be shorter than our past fall fundraisers, which have traditionally been twelve days. This one is going to go just over six, yet we still need to raise the same amount of money. Our goal is $50,000.

We hope you, as a listener, will enjoy a shorter fundraiser. We're pretty sure we, as a staff, will. Looking at the public radio fundraising scene in general, KAXE has definitely been on the longer end of things. Some community radio stations have even started doing one-day fundraisers.

Of course, each community radio station is unique, and therefore, they have unique fundraising styles too. We've prided ourselves on our fundraisers at KAXE, thinking we keep them more fun than you'll hear anywhere else. We plan to keep them that way, but twelve days is a long time. So, wouldn't it be great if we could reach our goal in less time?

It's something worth trying, and we'll see how it goes.

If you wish to pledge before the fundraiser, your contribution will be put towards the goal. You can pledge online, or call 218-326-1234 or 800-662-5799.

Thank you.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Big Weather Picture: Oct. 12-18

by Tornado Bob

The weather this coming week may be best described as "dull". We will have mostly mostly cloudy weather with occasional chances of light snow or rain as warm air attempts to move in from the southwest and our cold high pressure attempts to remain in place. Liquid equivalent precipitation may be 0.15" to 0.30". Highs will be in the 30s and 40s most of the week with lows in the 20s and 30s. The main storm track remains mostly to our south and west like it has for the past couple months. By the second half of this coming weekend (17th/18th), we'll have breezy conditions and temperatures returning to average for this time of year (near 50 for highs).

You can hear Tornado Bob on the KAXE Monday Morning Show at 8:40.

Dr. Bob Conzemius is senior scientist at the WindLogics Research Center in Grand Rapids.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Two Hours of Enchantment on Centerstage MN

by Doug MacRostie

Last month on a beautiful Saturday night, as the sun set and darkness slowly crept over the KAXE Amphitheater, Enchanted Ape were rocking out, their long shadows projected on the walls of the Rotary Tent surrounded by shades of red, blue and green during nearly two hours of outstanding music. Guitarists Chris O'Brien and Pat Riddle traded back and forth with amazing solos that would build and grow and take the music to excellent heights of musical emotion mixed with the tight and intricate rhythm section of Adam Kuchelmeister on drums and Rob Bruce on bass. And of course, we recorded it :D This Thursday night at 6 on Centerstage MN we'll be broadcasting the Enchanted Ape concert in it's entirity (the perfect set up for The Dead Set with Steve Ross starting at 8!).

From Minneapolis, Enchanted Ape play organic roots-rock, with improve guitar work and intricate songwriting and you'll get to hear them in action! With influences from The Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton and Paul Simon, they mix genres and styles for a unique blend of living music that grows and changes every time they play it. Special thanks to Forrest Ross for mixing and engineering the Enchanted Ape concert. You can see pictures here and check out the highlight video below.

Centerstage MN is Thursday evenings at 6, streaming live online at; or 91.7 Grand Rapids, 89.9 Brainerd and 105.3 Bemidji. All interviews are archived at and the show is rebroadcast Sunday mornings at 6.

Tornado Bob's weekly weather report: Colder Weather on the Way, First Flakes by Friday

The early part of this week will essentially be a repeat of last week with a significant storm system moving just to our south. Again, the most rain will fall across central and southern Minnesota with amounts in excess of an inch likely in the Twin Cities, St. Cloud, Little Falls, and Morris. We sure could use those amounts here because we're about six inches short on moisture for 2009, although the Twin Cities needs it worse-- before last weeks rains, they were 14-16 inches short on moisture since June 1, 2008!

Expect rain to start Monday evening, persist throughout the nighttime and daytime Tuesday, and move out of the area Tuesday evening. Places along the Canadian border from International Falls westward may not see any rain, and amounts will be larger to the south, with nearly an inch possible in Brainerd. 0.25" looks like the most probable amount in Grand Rapids.

We'll have a brief break on Wednesday, then a strong cold front will sweep through Wednesday night, bringing a chance of showers. An Arctic air mass will then pour into the region and settle in through the upcoming weekend. Cold air aloft, combined with warmth and moisture provided by the open lakes, will produce some instability in the atmosphere, resulting in scattered rain and snow showers from Thursday through Sunday. Highs will be in the 30s and 40s with lows in the 20s. The upcoming pattern looks like a repeat of what we had over the summer except that it is now fall, and that means some freezing weather.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sinclair Lewis Writer's Conference Saturday October 10th in Sauk Center

I talked with author Will Weaver this week on Realgoodwords. He's going to be the keynote speaker at the 20th annual Sinclair Lewis Writer's Conference in Sauk Center (where the infamous book Main Street was set). Will is known for his short stories, adult novels and young adult novels as well as the award winning independent film (Sweetland) that was based on Will's short story, "A Gravestone Made of Wheat". Will's keynote address will be about audience.

Minnesota mystery writer William Kent Krueger will also be there, his talk will be about how to use suspense. Krueger has been a guest on Realgoodwords in the past, and I'll be talking to him later this fall about his latest in the series about Cork O'Connor, "Heaven's Keep".

Also speaking is Minnesota author Wang Ping. She will speak about writing short stories. Wang Ping was awarded a 2009 McKnight Artist Fellowship for creative prose from the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis.

Milkweed Editions editor Daniel Slager will also be presenting at the conference in Sauk Center. His talk will be about the future of books.

The 20th Annual Sinclair Lewis Writer's Conference is Saturday October 10th from 8:30-5:30. For more information click here.