Friday, February 26, 2010

The Oneida Nation's Contributions at Valley Forge

Cass Lake author, Greg Chester, likes digging for stories that are often lost in the telling of our history. His new book, "The Oneida Nation's Contributions at Valley Forge", tells how the Oneida nation, based in what is now upstate New York, came to the rescue of George Washington and the Continental Army during the difficult winter of 1777-78. Here's an excerpt:

The Epic Food Trek

The story begins with Oneida Chief Adam Shenandoah calling his people together upon learning of the dire condition of General Washington's army at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania in the winter of 1777-78. Their village of Oriska was on the south shore of the Mohawk River east of Ft. Stanwix. Shenandoah described the soldier's great needs. After careful discussion and deliberation within the men's and women's councils they determined that food would make the greatest impact. They assembled 600 bushels of dried corn from their critical winter stocks. They would share with their allies what was most dear to them, the staple food that enabled them to survive through the winter.

Chester also tells how the Oneida helped LaFayette and the Continental Army at the Battle of Barren Hill. "The Oneida Nation's Contributions at Valley Forge" is available at McKenzie Place in Bemidji and the Village Book Store in Grand Rapids.

Your Job Today is to Join KAXE

by Aaron Brown,

Do me a favor. Go over and look at the website for 91.7 KAXE. If you're in northern Minnesota, tune in to 91.7 FM or, if you're anywhere else, stream the audio feed (click "Listen").

Spend some time looking at that website. Read the blogs. Read about the people. Read about some of the programs. Then listen to the station. Listen to the archives of programs that sound interesting. Listen to the variety of music, of voices, and -- most of all -- listen to how different it is than everything else in the media.

KAXE is public, but not slick. It's a large and growing organization, but it's not corporate. It's creative, but it's not amateurish -- even when programmed by volunteers. It covers news, birds, politics, trees, events, lakes, but mostly KAXE covers people. It plays music -- every kind you can imagine, except for Top 40 -- and celebrates local and Minnesota musicians, too. It provides family programming but isn't afraid of edgy and challenging material, either. Most of all it celebrates the unique culture and attitudes of the people of northern Minnesota.

The most remarkable thing about all of this is that KAXE is able to do all of this -- pay a professional staff, support a huge network of volunteers, broadcast a 100,000 watt signal with two translators and a web stream to boot -- predominantly with member support. They do this on a freaking shoestring. This is coming from a guy who volunteers in nonprofit arts event planning, so believe me, I know shoestrings.

But the economy is bad and KAXE's spring fundraiser is running behind what's needed. Don't mess around, people. This station will outlast the newspapers. This station is developing a media model that will integrate the internet with radio and print content. This station will outlast the blaring shock jocks and mindless droning of zombie MTV. This station will cover the people of northern Minnesota, forever. Unless you fail to become a member today.

Be a member of KAXE. Join, join, join. As I've said, if you're a fan of what I do here at the blog or in my column or my recent book, I beg you to pay it forward and help the organization that's helped me over these past five years.

I'm "on assignment" this week and won't be a part of the "Between You and Me" program this Saturday morning. Nevertheless, Michael Goldberg and Gail Otteson will be guest hosting and taking calls between 10 a.m. and noon. Tune in and join us again next week, and the next week and the next. If...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

It's Like Family tradition

Karen Ryan was in doing music today, and trying out her titanium knees on the new KAXE Long-Jump ramp over the river (see side image) that was installed Wednesday night by Robert Jevne.

Karen has been a long time, member and volunteer and one of her daughters pledged today (where are the other two????) ...and someday she hopes her grand daughters will too. "It's all about the future," said Karen, "I would hate for the next generation to grow up in a world without KAXE. There is plenty of fast-passed BAD out there, and KAXE is a wonderful island of real-time goodness." Just ask Spud Spenser: The Fundspiel Forum 11.

Call 800-662-5799 to keep KAXE here for future generations, or pledge online. Click here to see a video of Karen sticking the landing on her long jump.

Dark, dark chocolate 10 lb cupcake recipe

by Heidi Holtan

Yesterday we tried out this spanking new giant cupcake pan in the KAXE kitchen. It turned out delicious, don't get us wrong. But I think we need a little more practice with it.

The top got a little crisp, and the bottom was a little wet. Did I mention it was delicious?

I used a recipe for a regular cake out of one of my favorite cookbooks, "Baking Illustrated" put out by Cook's Illustrated magazine. Here's my take on their recipe for Chocolate Sheet Cake.


3/4 c cocoa, dark Dutch-processed
1 1/4 c unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
8 oz dark chocolate bar, broken up
12 Tbsps (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
4 large eggs (I used 5 not so large eggs)
1 1/2 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk

Adjust oven rack to the middle and heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease the giant cupcake pan.
Sift together cocoa, flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Heat the chocolate and butter in a microwave safe bowl covered with plastic wrap for 2 minutes at 50 percent power. Stir until smooth. (If not fully melted, heat 1 minute longer at 50 percent power.) Whisk together the eggs, sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Whisk in the buttermilk until smooth.

Whisk the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture until combined. Whisk in the dry ingredients until the batter is smooth and glossy. Pour the batter into the prepared pan; bake until firm in the center when lightly pressed and a toothpick comes out clean, about 40 minutes (ours took more like 50-55 minutes). Cool on a wire rack until room temperature.

Real whipped cream worked great with this - made with sugar and vanilla. Between the top and bottom layers I added some raspberry jam that was really good.

Wondering how BIG the cupcake really was? See here.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Fundspeil Food

What's the best diet for a serious athlete? A 10lbs cupcake, that's what! We're in full-fundraiser mode and we need your support to keep community radio strong in Northern MN. Community radio is unique and is only possible by people in the community (like you) showing their financial support - whether it's a one time payment of $20 or $1 a day - pledge what fits your budget - we can't do it without you! Spud Spenser has the latest news: The Fundspiel Forum 10. Click here to see the picture of how Bauer got all that cream on his face...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Secret Talents of The Bauer

by Heidi Holtan

John Bauer is known for many things. Feeding neighborhood dogs on his way home. Getting people on the horn lickety-split. Mispronouncing "cereal" again. And again. Seeing UFOs. Opening up fire hydrants because "I own this town".... the list goes on and on.

What most people don't know is that John Bauer is the inventor of a highly technical figure skating move called THE BAUER.

John Bauer has been a secret figure skater all his life. When other young boys were practicing their free throws on the weekends, John Bauer was on the ice, whirling and whirling with all his might.

So what exactly is THE BAUER? According to a reputable source ( a Bauer is a beautiful figure skating move. The skater skates with the blades parallel and the toes pointing in opposite directions. The trailing leg is on an inside edge and is straight. The leading leg is bent and is either on an inside or outside edge, or flat. Some skaters bend almost completely backward when they do this move.

So why did John Bauer not go on to fulfill his figure skating dreams? He won't say, but I have a feeling there's a story there. When I asked him, he raised his hand over his face and shouted "no comment!"

What secret talents do you have? You don't have to bend over backward to become a member of KAXE... it's easy to do, just call us at 800-662-5799.

Fundspoiled? Not likely!

No random drug tests or disqualifications for performance enhancing peripherals can take the wind out of our Fundspiel sails! We're enjoying all kinds of ways to have fun in Northern MN this time of year - like our in-studio Curling Rink (see side image).

Here's the latest update from Spud Spenser: The Fundspiel Forum 8.

At this point, we're trailing behind our daily benchmarks (roughly $6,000 behind) on our way to raising $50,000 by Friday night. This is only the 2nd time we've tried shortening our fundraiser from a full two weeks to just 8 days, which means you can't wait to pledge - do it now! Listener support is our single largest sources of funding and every single pledge is vital to our continued success. Look at your budget and see what you can afford (all at once, or over the next year) and call 800-662-5799 - we're waiting for you! Click here to see Dan doing Drug Tests.

Fundspeil Forum Archive:

The Fundspiel Forum 8
The Fundspiel Forum 7
The Fundspiel Forum Weekend
The Fundspiel Forum 5
The Fundspiel Forum 4
The Fundspiel Forum 3
The Fundspiel Forum 2
The Fundspiel Forum 1

Monday, February 22, 2010

Drama at the Fundspiel

As you may have heard from Spud Spenser in the The Fundspiel Forum 7, things are getting pretty serious around KAXE for the Fundspiel Fundraiser - made all the crazier by Dan Houg starting random tests for performance enhancing drugs - and he even disqualified Doug MacRostie's leading time in the Labyrinth race due to "performance enhancing paraphernalia" (see side image). You can be KAXE's performance enhancer by pledging your support for independent local media - if you aren't a member, YOU SHOULD BE! Click here to see the video of Dan Houg drug testing Scott Hall.
Fundspeil Forum Archive:
The Fundspiel Forum 7
The Fundspiel Forum Weekend
The Fundspiel Forum 5
The Fundspiel Forum 4
The Fundspiel Forum 3
The Fundspiel Forum 2
The Fundspiel Forum 1

Going Wild with Matt Ray and Those Damn Horses

by Doug MacRostie

We're celebrating all the ways to have fun in Northern MN this week, and what's more fun than getting some great musicians together for a community jam session? Some serious foot-stompin', head bobbin' and lip smilin' will be going on at the KAXE Studios this Thursday night starting at 6 for Matt Ray and Those Damn Horses performing for an in-studio audience live on the air during Centerstage MN!!! We've got a wonderfully intimate venue here, and it fills up fast - seating will be first come, first serve!

Matt Ray is a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Embarrass. His new album 'Old Crow' mixes elements of blues, folk, jug band and rock into his own unique sound. The music ranges from rockin' roots music on songs like 'Old Time Band' which sings about dancing all night, to sincerely serious tunes like 'Ranger's Lament,' a song about the trials and challenges of miners on the Range. Those Damn Horses are a collection of Iron Range musicians, joining Matt this Thursday night will be Eric Krenz on guitar and vocals, Al Ranfranz on Harmonica, Flea on Fiddle and Kyle Ollah on percussion.

Join us for this special live edition of Centerstage MN and an hour and a half of Matt Ray and Those Damn Horses - be part of our studio audience as we raise money for independent local radio, the event is free and we'll pass the hat to raise money for KAXE. JOIN US!

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.

"I'm Like the Weird Uncle...," by Rev Dave

Why you should pledge to KAXE. This is the question I was asked to answer, or at least write about. So here we go.

Pledging to KAXE is like joining the family. I'm like the weird uncle that only comes out for special occasions. Maggie would be like the motherly type who could still love an axe-murderer if they didn't swear on-air. Dan would be the fatherly type who was surprised people could be so dumb and still live. John would be the stylish, slightly jockish older brother ...

Wait, this isn't what I wanted to talk about.

KAXE is about good music,great music, can't say enough about all the different music, I could try but this would just get long and confusing, just know that there's a lot of great music you may not hear elsewhere. But KAXE is more, it's good books with Real Good Words, showing off your smarts Saturday night with Green Cheese, getting together with friends new and old for a discussion Between You and Me. Minnesota music takes Centerstage, new music is Current, and the Morning Show makes you smarter.

But KAXE is also about the people, Not just the people that work there, but all the members too. KAXE people are special. KAXE people help you find a lost pet, find new things, find new friends. KAXE people have the best recipes, know the best places to eat, and can answer most gardening questions (or tell you to call and ask Bonnie). KAXE people can recommend a good book, a good movie, or a good hiking spot. KAXE people love life and want to be a part of it.

Maybe that's it ... KAXE people love life and want to be a part of it. When they find something they love, they make it a part of their life .... and when they found something so wonderful as KAXE (too gushy?) they not only made it a part of their life, but they pledged to the station and made themselves part of it .... and kept the family growing.

But how the hell would I know. For me KAXE is psycho therapy, a creative outlet, and something that probably keeps me out of jail. Just pledge so we don't have to go door to door ... and be more, uh .. pursuasive.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Fundspeil Opening Ceremonies Highlights

by Gail Otteson

The Fundspiel 2010 gave me a chance to do some serious research on the towns in KAXEland, and I found their stories to be as eccentric as the people who live in them...
Togo was established in 1905 in Carpenter Township. It was named by the first postmaster, Miles A. Nelson. Apparently he was not sympathetic to the Russians and named the town after Admiral Togo of the Japanese Navy in honor of his sinking of the Russian fleet in the Russo-Japanese war of 1905.
Blackduck was settled by people from the Crookston area. What I didn't know is that it is the fictional birthplace of the fictional GI Joe character, Charbroil. Charbroil's "real" name is Carl G. Shannon. His military specialty is as a flame weapons specialist. How did he perfect his skill with flame weapons? It was his responsibility to thaw the family water pipes in the basement with a blowtorch. And the rest is history...
Mizpah was settled by hardy types in January of 1900. The Potter brothers, Will, Walter, and Sam promptly built a post office and a sawmill. They chose the name Mizpah, a Hebrew word, to adorn the new settlement. It means "watchtower" and also serves as a parting blessing for peace and safety. Mizpah also holds the state record for the latest recorded snowfall. They got an inch and a half on June 4, 1935.
Want to share some "stranger than fiction" facts about your town? Drop a note to Scott Hall at

Do you believe in magic? The magic is HAPPENING at KAXE's Fundspiel

by Heidi Holtan

A month ago or so I did a Between You and Me call in show about book recommendations.

One of the recommendations came from a lovely lady who couldn't say enough about how wonderful her granddaughter is....AND, it just happened to be that her granddaughter is the co-author of "The Career Within You".

Flash forward to a couple of weeks later - a publicist calls me, representing Ingrid Stabb. The very same Ingrid Stabb who happened to be the granddaughter of our caller, Eivor.

Did I want to do an interview on this book? Ingrid lives in California, but her grandmother would be willing to come in while we interviewed her as well.

The answer, of course, was yes.

If that isn't good enough, today, DAY ONE of the KAXE Fundspiel, Eivor (Ingrid's grandmother) came in to pledge her support to KAXE. And eat breakfast with us!

So thanks Eivor, and tune in for later in the month (March 12th at 8:40am) and we'll talk to Eivor and her author granddaughter, Ingrid Stabb, ab out "The Career Within You - How to Find the Perfect Job for Your Personality". Oh, and one more thank you. Thanks Eivor (who we learned was called the Dragon Lady at one point in her life) kinda gave John Bauer the business for not cleaning off the sidewalks adequately. You shoulda seen John.

"I did part of it!"

"Yeah," said Eivor, "I had a husband like that once!"

Thanks to everyone who supports KAXE. All our welcome in the KAXE community!

The Fundspiel is ON!!!

NowWatchingKAXE Productions presents the Theatrical Trailer for the Fundspiel Fundraiser on 91.7 KAXE, a celebration of all the ways we have fun in Northern MN this time of year :D Most importantly, it's your opportunity for pledge your financial support for independent community radio - listener support is our single largest source of funding and every new member (at any amount, whatever fits your budget) is vital to our continued success. The Fundspiel is ON! Are you? Call 800-662-5799 or pledge online.

Spud Spenser Wants you!

The biggest news since Conan left NBC, the illustrious Spud Spenser has joined us to cover the Fundspeil Fundraiser with the Fundspiel Forum, here's the latest: The Fundspiel Forum 5 . You might remember Spud from his work with the likes of Steve Inskeep, Barbara Walters and the All Nude Network. Spud is monitoring the events, games and activities under a microscope, with a journalist-razor-blade to the truth. Spud has already broken the news of Maggie getting mad at the staff for "playing on the hill" instead of working, and then he caught Maggie sledding by herself in the middle of the work day. Spud is a member, are you? Click here to see a pictures of Spud working at the All Nude Network.

Fundspeil Forum Archive:
The Fundspiel Forum 5
The Fundspiel Forum 4
The Fundspiel Forum 3
The Fundspiel Forum 2
The Fundspiel Forum 1

Thursday, February 18, 2010

What cable channel carries The Fundspiel coverage?

After deciding that all national sports coverage is terrible with way to much talking, and rejecting an offer from the All Porn Network, we've decided to stick with Spud Spenser and the Fundspiel Forum for exclusive coverage. Here's the latest report:
The Fundspiel Forum 4.

Today, Boomer the Groomer is putting in a cross country ski trail that will go down our amphitheater hill, along the river walk, and around the Library. And, we're organizing Dog Sled rides for next week! The Opening Ceremonies for the Fundspiel Fundraiser is tomorrow - all the town teams will be in our grand march, be sure to listen! Events start with Basketball on Saturday, Curling on Sunday and then the big-ticket event, Labyrinth Races on Monday! Listener support is our single largest source of funding and we need new people to join our team and make all of this possible! (click here to pledge). Click here to see a picture of Boomer grooming naked.

Fundspeil Forum Archive:
The Fundspiel Forum 4
The Fundspiel Forum 3
The Fundspiel Forum 2
The Fundspiel Forum 1

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Sports Page: Former Olympic Speedskater, Chantal Cermak , Thursday, February 18:

by Scott Hall

The Third Annual U.S. Speedskating National Marathon is this Saturday and Sunday in Bemidji. Racers will compete in 25K and 5oK races around a 1000 meter oval on Lake Bemidji. There will also be a Citizens Race at 2 o'clock on Saturday. Race organizer and former Olympian, Chantal Cermak (right), is our guest on the Sports Page this week (Thursday morning at 7:40).

Chantal and U. S. speedskating legend, Bonnie Blair, were just a year apart at Centennial High School in Champaign, Illinois, but Chantal didn't get started in the sport untill she was a 22 year old student at the University of Colorado. She competed in the 1000, 1500, and 3000 meter events for the U.S. Olympic team in the 1994 Olympics. She now coaches the Bemidji Speedskating Club.

It's What We Do

A true mix of music is programmed by local volunteers every day On the River on KAXE, and today we're joined by Joan Downham from Boy River and she brought along a stack of vinyl. "I'll be celebrating Black History Month with the tunes this morning," Joan said as she carried in a KAXE Bag that must have weighted 50lbs. In this picture she's got a copy of the Detroit Emerald's "I'm In Love With You." Real people come in from our Northern MN community and share music that they're passionate about, and it doesn't get any better than that! It's what we do. (Pssst...this would be a GREAT TIME to pledge early for our Fundspiel Fundraiser - 800-662-5799).

Preparation of a Fundspiel

We've started packing snow to make turns and hills in our "Bobsled Track" down the hill across the road from the KAXE Studios. Jennifer Poenix walked in this morning and said, "I remembered my snow pants and boots so I can get some good warm-ups in before the Fundspiel starts Friday morning." We're going to be playing games and having fun all week during our fundraiser, and you can stay up to date with Spud Spenser's news reports: The Fundspiel Forum 3. Are you a member of KAXE? Listener support is our single largest source of funding and you can help us get a jump start on the competition by pledging early (click here). Click here for the best advice on how to sled down a hill.

Fundspeil Forum Archive:
The Fundspiel Forum 3
The Fundspiel Forum 2
The Fundspiel Forum 1

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Blinded By the Light

by John Bauer

What started out as a basketball recruiting trip to Dassel-Cokato, ended up being a brush with the law for this ticket-free driver. My 3 1/2 hour drive home from visiting a very talented 6'2" basketball player from Annandale, Minnesota was getting very tiresome. But up ahead was the dull glow of the only stop light in Aitkin County. "I'm in Aitikin! Only one hour to go before I'm home."

Then, on a long straight stretch, it appeared! It was the blinding bright glow of high beams burning my road-weary eyes. As the car got closer (100 yards) I decided to flick my brights as to make the other driver aware that their headlights were on high-beam. Nothing! Not one single acknowledgement! Being a little disgruntled for this lack of highway respect, I flicked my high beams again as the vehicle quickly passed me by. One glance in the mirror revealed a Aitkin County Sheriff pulling a shitty and heading my way with with red, blue and white lights gleaming. I quickly pulled over, pulled my drivers license from the billfold, rolled down my window and waited patiently for the officer to glare in my window.

First words out of his mouth were, "How come you flicked your brights after I flicked you back?" I responded by saying, "You didn't dim your lights! I was watching and so was my co-pilot (assistant coach) Natasha Hamilton." He quickly disagreed with my (our) observations and went back to his vehicle for what seemed forever. Now let me set the stage for his return. It's 12:05 AM, I've been driving for nearly 7 hours, I'm in a State of Minnesota vehicle, driving 58 miles per hour with my dims on and I've never had a ticket in my life! Then it came, a tap on the window signaling Buford T. Justice's return. "I'm issuing you a citation for $120 for failing to dim your high beams," he beamed. "You have two options, pay it before your court date of March 29. 2010 at 10:30 A.M. or show up at court to contest it." I was stunned! What started out as an innocent (courteous) flick of the high beams to make my driving safer turned into a serious moving violation. "You've got to be kidding me! You're issuing me a ticket? I'm appealing this! You never dimmed your lights!" In his small in stature voice, he said, "That's the magic of the in-car camera." "I'm not denying I flicked my high beams at you, I'm saying you didn't dim your lights and no on-car camera can detect that! Once again I reiterated that I would be appealing this and he said, "Have a nice day sir" and vanished into thin air.

Now from what I understand there have been numerous articles in the Aitkin paper that these type of incidents are commonplace in Aitkin County and something needs to be done about it. What do you think?