Columns

Sat
11
Jan

Have a great new year

Every new year I like to remind myself and others of a great Benjamin Franklin quote that sums up the idea of new year’s resolutions, “Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each New Year find you a better man.”

Sat
11
Jan

Call in sick — for everyone’s sake

Call in sick! That is the advice from the nation’s emergency physicians if you happen to have flu-like symptoms.  Doctors suggest it’s one of the best ways to help prevent the spread of this year’s particularly aggressive national flu outbreak.   
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that as we turned the corner from 2013 to 2014, influenza was “widespread” in 25 states, including Minnesota, and “regional” in 20.

Thu
09
Jan

You Don’t Think I Can Take Care of a Baby? A Grandpa’s Musings…

Yes, they wanted ME to help take care of the baby. Wow! Now I can show them what I know. After all, I have been a Dad a long time and I have done all the baby stuff.
Oh, you want to know who or what this is about. Well, Grandpa is part of a team of people helping to provide day care to this new bundle of tiny face, hands, feet and hair (doesn’t she just look like her mother when she was born?). Now on to the wisdom I can bring.

Thu
09
Jan

Are there mulligans or “do-overs” in court?

Suppose Bob and Steve enter into a contract. Bob buys 2 TV sets from Steve for $100 each. Bob pays Steve the $200 and receives the first TV set but soon discovers that it doesn’t work as well as he had hoped. Steve refuses to return the purchase money. Bob starts a lawsuit.

Thu
09
Jan

The Library: So Much More Than Just Books

When I think ”library,” I conjure up images of stacks of books, bins of music CDs, shelves of recorded books, displayers with DVDs, and on and on–the physical materials. In reality a library is so much more! It’s book clubs and storytimes and computer workstations and Dog Gone Reading and Senior Surf Days and databases and…

Tue
07
Jan

Two Years in Review

Its officially the halfway mark of my first term serving Ward 5 as City Councilmember. It has been a wonderful and humbling experience, and I am proud of the work we have done so far. Below is a just a small slice of my experience in the last two years. We move forward with hope for a strong future for the Como, North End and Payne-Phalen communities of St. Paul.

Wed
01
Jan

Supersonic sonnets

“Finals are coming up,” lamented my high-schooler. “I don’t do well on tests, you know.”
We were driving home from school when she expressed her test-taking anxiety. I began telling her she should do her best, that everyone gets nervous taking tests, and if she studied she would have nothing to worry about.
But Daughter No. 1 interrupted me. “I remember last year’s lit test. There was an essay asking us to give the characteristics of a sonnet. So I said, ‘It rhymes with bonnet, and it rhymes with net.’

Wed
01
Jan

Taxpayer identity theft on the rise: Know how to protect yourself

Taxpayer identify theft continues to increase in the U.S. In 2012, there were 1.8 million incidents of identity theft and fraudulent tax refunds, creating a $5 billion problem, according to the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. In the first half of 2013, the number of tax-related identity thefts had already surpassed the 2012 number.
Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone intentionally uses the personal information of another person to file a false tax return with the intention of obtaining an unauthorized refund, according to the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants. Victims are left dealing with the aftermath, which can be emotionally draining as they work for years to untangle the financial nightmare. Taxpayers should know how to protect themselves and what to do if they become victims.

Wed
01
Jan

New Ideas for a New Year

It’s January in Minnesota. Winter sports enthusiasts are thrilled that it’s cold enough to ice skate, ski and snowmobile. Readers love the long, cozy sessions with a great novel or other entertaining book when the wind is howling and the snow is blowing and drifting. There is no reason to leave the house—or is there? While cocooning at home is fun, it is still important to get out and socialize with our fellow Minnesotans. The Lake Elmo Public Library is hosting some enticing programs this month, so mark your calendars.

Wed
01
Jan

The year in Review

I had no idea that 52 newspapers could change my life! Yet here I am, a different person from who I was a year ago.
I showed up at the Lillie News office in North St. Paul for the first day of my internship Jan. 2, 2013, with a newly minted English degree and the eager naivety of someone who has never read a gruesome criminal complaint.
Unfortunately, the receptionist was out of the office at that moment, and I was locked out.

Pages