Columns

Thu
25
Apr

Minimum wage increase will hurt businesses and workers

One of the proposals moving through the legislature right now is a bill that would impose an increase in the minimum wage from $6.15 per hour to $9.00 for small employers and to $10.55 per hour for large employers.
The increase would come three stages with the new minimum wage level in place by August 2015. Every year after that, the minimum wage will be adjusted based on the annual increase in inflation. 

Mon
22
Apr

Gaining perspective during Crime Victims’ Week

Each year crimes such as murder, domestic violence, sexual assault, identity theft, auto theft and credit card fraud harm millions of Americans on a variety of levels, including physiological, physical, emotional, cognitive, financial, social and spiritual.
During National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. April 21-27, we remember the toll that crime takes on victims as well as their families and rededicate ourselves to preventing crimes while helping victims as they heal and rebuild their lives.

Fri
19
Apr

A chat about scat


Macy - the scat machine. (submitted photo)

Let’s be honest here. This spring hasn’t really been the greatest so far and I think that many of us Minnesotans are finally starting to see the allure in packing it all up and moving to California.
The snow in my yard has melted just enough to expose an ugly mix of wilted brown grass, mud and soggy leaves that have been buried all winter, though not enough yet to get rid of the miniature glaciers that still line our driveway and the edge of our street. The only one who seems immune to the dreary weather is our one-year old, who can entertain himself for several hours picking up sticks and splashing in 32.5° puddles.

Fri
19
Apr

Winter gets its walking papers

So much for February being the shortest month. Here in the Upper Midwest, it lasted a full 10 weeks.
This was the winter of our discontent, a seemingly never-ending barrage of snow flurries and icy winds so depressing most of us plugged in our electric socks and jumped into the nearest lake, ready to end it all. Fortunately, all the lakes were frozen.

Fri
19
Apr

High school project teaches financial life lessons

A staggering 220,000 or 4.1 percent of Minnesotans are “unbanked” and currently without access to a bank account.

As part of Financial Literacy Month, I visited Tartan Senior High School in Oakdale to tour the school’s newly-opened branch of the Postal Credit Union, the first credit union branch entirely run by students, to promote the importance of youth savings and financial education.

Thu
18
Apr

Judicial Review: Truth and burdens of proof

Sometimes people ask how I know who is telling the truth in court.  It surprises them to hear that I will likely never know the absolute truth.
While some people do lie in court, more often people simply see, remember, or re-tell things differently. Something happened. People saw it, heard it, were involved in it, or maybe even caused it. A dispute arose, lawyers were hired, and a lawsuit began.

Mon
15
Apr

Those talented birds are at it again


A parrot named Malachi paints a tableau at Midwest Avian Adoption and Rescue Services. (Photo courtesy of MAARS)

“Art in the Hollow,” the annual art fest in beautiful Swede Hollow Park, is revving up. With the event scheduled for Saturday, June 1 (10 AM to 5 PM), painters and other artists are busy creating new works.
Not all the painters are human. The talented parrots who sold their paintings to last year’s art crowd are working even more diligently than the humans. Parrots paint slowly, you see. You’d paint slowly, too, if you had to grip your pointy little brush with your toes or beak.

Thu
11
Apr

Ideas for controlling that pesky Japanese Beetle

Let’s admit it – part of our environmental awareness is a result of the aesthetic beauty of our landscapes. Full, lush and green we like. Shriveled, defoliated and brown we do not. Enter the Japanese beetle – JB for short.
This pest existed only in Japan until about 100 years ago when it was accidentally introduced in New Jersey.

Thu
11
Apr

First half of session proves to be enlightening 

As the 2013 legislative session returns to action, I wanted to share a few examples of the many things I’ve learned in my short time in St. Paul and give you an update of what has taken place so far. 

Thu
11
Apr

Was it Goldilocks?

Just the other day as my two-year-old granddaughter was packing up to go home, she asked if she could take home a stuffed-animal froggy.
I replied, “No, actually froggy needs some repair; one of the seams on his body needs to be re-sewn.” Her reply: “Who did  it? Was it Goldilocks? Did she get in here?”

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