East Grand Forks: Childcare in the News

Making childcare more available in East Grand Forks has popped up a few times recently. Not sure if this is part of a trend that will accomplish something in the long run, but nice to note.

Mayor Steve Gander proclaimed April 4 will be Childcare Provider Appreciation Day in East Grand Forks, allowing an opportunity to recognize childcare providers. “I urge all citizens to thank and encourage childcare providers for their important work,” Gander said.

Grand Forks Herald, 15 Mar 2022

According to the Exponent, there was an event at Valley Golf Course for the announced day.

And of course it must be something of a deal if the newspaper is writing editorials about it:

Our view: The child care crisis in the Dakotas and Minnesota is bad for business
To us, the growing trouble with child care is among the biggest contributors to the Great Resignation in the Dakotas and Minnesota. It’s why we hope state lawmakers, governors and decision-makers continue to seek landmark solutions.

Grand Forks Herald, 01 Jan 2022

Some info on how short we are (hopefully the growth from January to March does not continue):

“Child care.” East Grand Forks is about 100 child care “slots” short of where it should be, according to Gorte. The city is looking for ways to lure new daycares to town or help existing ones expand via the Rural Child Care Innovation Program, which is run by nonprofit First Children’s Finance and funded jointly by the Minnesota Department of Human Services and the Michigan Department of Education.

Grand Forks Herald, 31 Jan 2022

“People who are not participating in the labor force have to have access to childcare so they can participate in the labor force,” Kiddoo said.

Paul Gorte, economic development director in East Grand Forks, said the city needs to add more than 200 spots for pre-kindergarten children. Kiddoo said Thief River Falls, where Northland also has a campus, needs to add a similar number of spots.

Grand Forks Herald, 30 Mar 2022

On 14 Mar, the East Grand Forks school district sent out a survey (via ParentVUE) about childcare and notice of a town hall about it:

Good Afternoon, please use the link below to participate in a survey about the child care needs of East Grand Forks. Availability of high-quality childcare is cucial for East Grand Forks to grow and thrive. East Grand Forks needs approximately 200 childcare slots, especially infant and toddler care, to meet our current needs. Help guide our work on this improtant issue by completing a survey and attending a town hall meeeting on April 25th.

Parent Survey:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/parentegf

Town Hall: https://eastgrandforkstownhall.eventbrite.com

Here’s the Town Hall info from the link:

You’re invited to take part in the discussion and solutions at the town hall!
About this event

Child care is an economic driver for rural communities across the United States but many communities are facing shortages of high quality child care. First Children’s Finance’s Rural Child Care Innovation Program is an innovative community engagement process designed to address the challenges of child care in rural America.

East Grand Forks has a shortage of approximately 210 full-time child care slots. A shortage of this magnitude has a dramatic impact on families and the local economy. To address this challenge, a core team from East Grand Forks has come together to lead the process of investigating why there is a shortage of care in the area. The Town Hall meeting is the opportunity to develop solutions to address this child care challenge for our community.

Child care needs to be accessible, of high quality, and profitable for the child care provider. As a community, we can work together to make this a reality.


Hopefully we can see this community of about 8,000 people come together and get things figured out. I’m not directly involved in organizing any of this, but as a working parent who has had to look for quality childcare in the last several years, I appreciate all the efforts.

What’s up, Grand Forks and East Grand Forks?

Cory Doctorow explained last month, quoting Aaron Cope (highlighting mine):

The internet was inspired by the end-to-end principle, the idea that the network’s first duty was to transmit data from willing senders to willing receivers, as efficiently and reliably as possible. That principle made it possible for whole swathes of people to connect with one another. As Cope writes, openness “was not, and has never been, a guarantee of a receptive audience or even any audience at all.” But because it was “easy and cheap enough to put something on the web,” you could “leave it there long enough for others to find it.”

This is a variation on the more succinct thing I saw on fedi the other day that (paraphrasing) “a blog post is a query through time to find similar people,”  “A blog post is a very long and complex search query to find fascinating people and make them route interesting stuff to your inbox,” which I thought was nice. If I find the source, I will update this post. Updated!

To that end, here are a few things that don’t warrant their own posts (even though that might be better SEO), but that I’m interested in, if other people locally are:

  • Community Solar in East Grand Forks
  • Strong Towns East Grand Forks
  • Strong Towns Grand Forks

So if you’re into these ideas or something similar, know that I am too! Drop a comment and let’s make something happen.

Update: Speaking of community solar here in East Grand Forks, I ran across this page, with a map that highlights EGF, but with some questionable conclusions:

Two of MMPA’s member communities, East Grand Forks and Olivia, purchase a portion of their power from the Western Area Power Administration. Because it produces no waste and causes no carbon emissions, hydroelectric power is a sustainable form of energy.

The WAPA page has this to say (highlight added):

Western is a Federal agency under the Department of Energy that markets and transmits wholesale electrical power from 56 Federal hydropower plants and one coal-fired plant.


Fixing the Ol’ Samsung Dishwasher

Long story short, it was really loud. This post came to the rescue: https://tech.akom.net/index.php?url=archives/132-Replacing-Dishwasher-Circulation-Pump-Bearings-without-buying-a-whole-new-unit.html.

I had to grind down the outside angles on the gear puller so it would grab the stuck-on bearing right (thanks to this comment for the suggestion: “Jeremy on 2022-05-05 14:29”).

Here’s the motor I replaced the bearings on:

Photo of a dishwasher circulation pump motor with a sticker full of identifying information.Some other resources:

Northern Plains Athletics: End of an Era

From roughly November 2013 (I think I ordered the domain on Thanksgiving)  to early 2020 (we know what happened then), I sunk a bunch of time into an endurance event calendar/map called Northern Plains Athletics. It wasn’t used by anyone very much. Soon the website will be gone completely. I’m letting the domain name go free and removing the site from my server. The Twitter account has already been deleted.

This is bittersweet, but I’ve been involved in too many things beyond the time I should have quit them. Maybe NPA should never have happened, but it did let me learn a lot about Drupal and the races happening in the North Dakota/South Dakota/Minnesota/Manitoba region. Perhaps if I’d spent more time traveling and less time with code, I would have been happier–but now I know more about sunk costs.

Because I still have a hard time letting go, I’ve archived the blog posts here, under the Northern Plains Athletics category. It was nice to skim through them again, and maybe some of the contributed race reports will be helpful to someone else.

Finally, here is a CSV file containing the several hundred events (or event versions, because the data structure changed over time) I ended up with. Names, locations, descriptions, date last updated, stuff like that. So if you want some data to play with, or are just looking for a race, this might help. Click here to download.

Get out and race!

Follow me on Mastodon!

Or not, it’s up to you.

I’ve been on the Fediverse for four or five years, using various accounts. Here’s one to follow or interact with if you want to talk to me while I use my real name: @mburtonkelly@scholar.social.

I’ve had an on-again/off-again relationship with Twitter and using my real name, so I won’t be linking that here. Politics, personal stuff, hobbies, work stuff, all rolled together can work for some people, but I’ve never been able to figure out the right balance. I will probably be removing all posts soon, while leaving the account in place to retain the username (and avoid impersonation if it gets reused). The Fediverse makes it easier to partition myself among a few different accounts.

Delete Windows files that match a filename pattern with “Everything”

Everything is a tool I use daily to replace Windows search, which is painfully slow. In addition to indexing files by name, it allows you to run normal file operations on the resulting list.

I ended up with thousands of files starting with “._” after a OneDrive migration. The eventual solution (after looking for CMD commands) was to just use Everything to search, select all the files, right-click, and select “Delete.”

Screenshot of Everything and a dialog box asking me if I want to delete files.

QRP Radio Fun

At some point over the winter, I started reading Thomas’s posts at QRPer.com. It may have been after I listened to one of his guest appearances on Ham Radio Workbench.

Long story short, last week I got a new Xiegu X6100 from Radioddity. I’ve been playing with it and a MFJ-1984LP EFHW antenna in the front yard for a few days now, and it’s been a hoot to chase POTA activators using only 5W. It’s definitely something I can do for 5 (let’s be serious, more like 15) minutes at a time in between other things.

Some early notes, maybe to follow up on in the future:

  • There are at least two groups.io lists for this radio, either of which might help you find an answer to a question. Please note that if you haven’t bought the radio yet, stay away from posts before Spring 2022–the early adopters had some issues that no longer apply.
  • The thin poly line used by arborists can burn when you release it from your hand, maybe use gloves when tossing (or get a lighter throw bag).
  • My antenna is allegedly good for a bunch of bands, but I’m also not sure how the tuner will tell me that it can’t tune.
  • The detent in the main tuning knob is either too small for my finger, or the whole knob is too small. I tend to just roll my finger around the edge to spin fast.
  • The manual is useful to expand out the menu item names, but you need to know a bit about radios to know what they actually mean.
  • Some weird “birdies” that swoop in from the sides, on some bands. See notes in the groups.io posts.
  • CW decode doesn’t always work, but you may have to toggle between CW and CWR by pressing the mode button. Or it’s random chance that I got it to work.
  • My attic fan dipole, although it covers everything from 40m to 10m bands, is not very sensitive on receive at all (or more likely is catching too much noise from inside the house). Yesterday I could see stations all over 20m when operating outside on the X6100, but only a few of them inside on the IC-7300 (which should have better receive in general).
    • I don’t think this is because of bad coax, but it could be. I made some notes on my Mastodon account (that I need to write down somewhere else) about testing the IC-7300 with the EFHW and checking the noise floor.

Ham Radio Infrastructure Projects

There are probably more complete and better lists out there, but maybe I can list some off the top of my head.

  • APRS digipeater/iGate
  • Winlink gateway
  • WSPR beacon
  • JS8Call forwarder
    • or is this just everyone running the program?
  • CW Skimmer for Reverse Beacon Network
  • VHF/UHF repeater
    • and repeater network
  • TARPN/AREDN/Broadband Hamnet node
    • I list these together because it seems to depend on the year who is gaining and who is losing ground. Maybe we need to make them interoperable?

These are mainly hardware solutions to get signals and data farther, faster, and in and out of the Internet. Ideas on the software side might be:

  • Standardized packet or digital queries to get information
    • news
    • weather (see Winlink)
    • equipment setup help (???, although I’ve seen talk of Wikipedia access)
    • disaster support (where to get food, water, shelter, etc. after a disaster in the area, although perhaps this fits broadcast best if local broadcast hasn’t been effected)
    • APRS-style location information, without the overhead of APRS
      • E.g., what if I could query a local computer using touch tones to get local information?

What are some other ways to contribute the “infrastructure” of ham radio, to help it remain resilient (and stay fun)?

Frost-Keysor Genealogy

I had to write this all out to email it to the keepers of the Genealogy of the Abial Frost Family website, so I might as well post it here in case someone finds it from another angle and has information.

I’m looking for a connection to the Frost family and hoping someone might be able to give me some guidance on my wife’s side of the family.

Looking over the newsletters and this site, I don’t think she is a descendant of Abial Frost, but there are references to the Hadley, NY area that I think are intriguing.

My wife is descended from an Elizabeth Frost, who married Clark Keysor Sr., father of Civil War Union Captain Clark Keysor of Mankato, MN. We don’t have direct familial knowledge of the line this far back, but Capt. Keysor’s early life is documented in both “Mankato: It’s First Fifty Years..” (1903) and “History of Blue Earth County…” (Hughes, 1901). I’ve copied some text below:

Captain Keysor was born in Luzerne, Warren county, New York, May 24, 1826, and was among the five children of Clark and Elizabeth (Frost) Keysor. The father followed the lumbering business until his death, which occurred in New York state in 1830. Survived by the widow, she eventually came to Mankato [MN] and died here in 1877 at an advanced age. Their son, Clark, Jr., received a common-school education in New York state and grew to manhood upon a farm, early gaining a thorough knowledge of agricultural pursuits. (Hughes, 1901)

KEYSOR, Capt. Clark–Born in Luzerne, Warren County, New York, May 24th, 1826, a son of Clark and Elizabeth (Frost) Keysor. His grandparents on his father’s side were natives of Germany, who landed in New York City about the end of the 18th century, were the grandmother died, leaving the Captain’s father an infant, who, being adopted by a family named Wells, was brought up in New York State, where he died in 1830. After his father’s death, Capt. Keysor made his home with his grandfather Frost, in the town of Hadley, New York, working on a farm and attending the country school until he was sixteen years of age. He then started out for himself, finding employment first in a saw mill at Luzerne, and the following winter in a lumber camp. (Mankato, 1903)

Elizabeth Frost Keysor did move to Mankato and died there. She may have remarried to a Noyes after Clark Sr’s death, but I am having a hard time finding documentation. There are two markers that bear her name in Glenwood Cemetery in Mankato.

Looking through the newsletters, I see mention of Uncle Elijah, who lived in Hadley around that time and had a daughter named Lizzie. This is noted in the Frost Genealogy (1912); Elijah is individual #8.

I’d appreciate any sources documenting the Frost-Keysor connection if there is one. Thanks for any ideas.


P.S. My wife’s tree is online, the direct link to Elizabeth Frost is here: https://mattbk.com/webtrees/index.php?route=%2Fwebtrees%2Ftree%2FFinstad%2Findividual%2FI782%2FElizabeth-Frost

Uploading big files to Castopod on YuNoHost

Find PHP version being used:

> matt@example:/etc/php$ tail ynh_app_version
> castopod:8.0

Update `memory_limit` in `sudo nano /etc/php/8.0/fpm/php.ini`

Restarted PHP 8 service, getting `504 Gateway Time-out nginx` now. Progress?

Then set `client_max_body_size` in here to 700 rather than 600:
`matt@example:/etc/nginx/conf.d/castopod.example.net.d$ sudo nano castopod.conf`

Then set `max_execution_time` to 90 at `sudo nano /etc/php/8.0/fpm/php.ini`

Restart nginx and PHP services (I used https://example.net/yunohost/admin/#/services).