Columns

Mon
29
Jul

Minnesota schools get some payback

When I was a kid, I remember borrowing a little money from my parents who warned me that I would, of course, have to pay that money back. Being a kid and not listening much, I wasn’t too happy when I had to use some birthday money to pay them back-but I certainly learned the lesson.

Thu
25
Jul

Take advantage of parks, trails

Minnesotans have a great love for the outdoors. In the summer, anyone can drive around the neighborhood and see kids playing outside and families enjoying the beautiful weather. Walk past one of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes and you’ll see boats and jet skis cruising the lake and people of all ages grilling, relaxing and enjoying the beach. The warm summer months allow us to forget about the cold winter that is right around the corner.
Minnesota is home to 76 state parks and recreational areas. They range from the northern tip in Minnesota (Garden Island State Park) to the Iowa border (Lake Louise State Park) from Wisconsin to the Dakotas, and everywhere in between. They feature camping, hiking, canoeing, horseback riding and any number of other activities. They offer something for everybody.
However, it isn’t necessary to travel far to find access to beautiful parks and outdoor recreation. We have a number of options right in our own backyard. Here is a list of parks in our area:

Mon
22
Jul

Reflecting on 78 years of Social Security

There are special moments when people look back and evaluate a life or an era: birthdays, class reunions, holidays, anniversaries. Time is, after all, simply the stringing together of a number of events, some small, others significant. These events can speed by quickly, but each one can have an effect on the greater whole. A lifetime of seemingly mundane events can pass in what seems like the blink of an eye … until one looks back to examine them and realizes just how much has filled the space.

Mon
22
Jul

East Side vacant homes pose perceived safety risk, also offer relief

I have lived in the Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood on the East Side for over three years and one of the first things I noticed was the abundance of vacant and abandoned houses as compared to other neighborhoods. While studying at Metropolitan State University, I wanted to study something that would benefit the community around me. Over the past three years of living in Dayton’s Bluff I have had many emotions and thoughts regarding the abundant vacant homes in the area. I began to wonder what sort of negative impacts on residents these vacant homes may have. For my master’s project I hoped to better understand how vacant homes impact different factors, such as sense of community, place attachment, community involvement, and sense of safety for those who are still living near them.

Thu
18
Jul

Talk to teens about driving — it may be a lifesaver

The ultimate goal when our kids start driving is to ensure their safety and the safety of others. That starts with establishing expectations. The good news is that by setting boundaries, we are making the roads safer for everyone.
Summer is the deadliest time of year for teenage motor vehicle accidents. If they haven’t yet, parents and their teen drivers should discuss safe driving habits such as always wearing a seatbelt, no texting while driving, and never driving while intoxicated.
Research shows teens whose parents set rules are half as likely to get in an accident, according to the the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Reducing accidents not only saves lives but also saves money through reduced insurance costs.

Mon
15
Jul

Culture change: kind of like mosquito bites


Celebrating the conclusion of pre-service training and official inauguration as Peace Corps Volunteers are Amy Baldwin of Chicago, Sinclair Cohen of Walnut Creek, Calif., Rebecca Rowe of Shoreview, Minn., and Abra Sitler of Bramwell, West Virg. (submitted photo)

I have a cousin, Andrea, who was born and raised in California. Her summer visits to Minnesota always resulted in one highly memorable feature: a large quantity of mosquito bites.
Welts from skeeters covered the majority of Andrea’s arms and legs.
A native Minnesotan, I very rarely had one nip from our unofficial “state bird.” So I wondered: what caused the mosquitoes’ great attraction to Andrea? And why did her body react so visibly?
My young mind decided it definitely had something to do with Andrea being from California. She wasn’t a Minnesotan and therefore couldn’t handle our mosquitoes.

Mon
15
Jul

What to know if your child’s hurt

As summer heats up, millions of kids are outside enjoying warm weather and their time off from school. When kids are more active, though, they can be more vulnerable to potential injury. The nation’s emergency physicians are ready to handle any childhood emergency.
Of the 130 million visits to emergency rooms in 2010, almost 25 percent were made by children under the age of 18 and more of those emergency visits occur in the summer compared with the rest of the year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A trip to the emergency department for a sick or injured child doesn’t have to be a scary experience. It’s the responsibility of a parent or guardian to prepare for the visit ahead of time.

Thu
11
Jul

Using an allowance to teach financial lessons

Did you know that most parents expect their kids to do some work in exchange for an allowance? In fact, 89 percent of parents want their children to spend at least an hour a week on chores, according to a survey conducted for the American Institute of CPAs.

Thu
11
Jul

The global warming debate, and a key question

Just the mention of the words “global warming” brings to mind a wide range of opinions. Some believe the whole idea is a complete hoax, while others believe global warming is happening but not an imminent danger in their lifetime. Still others believe it is imminent and we are fast approaching the point of no return.
A March Gallup poll indicates that the majority of Americans (64 percent) believe global warming will not be a serious threat to them during their lifetime. Only 34 percent of Americans (down from a high of 40 percent in 2008) believe that global warming is an imminent threat. Even the general belief that global warming is real, based on a Pew Research poll in March, finds that only 69 percent of Americans believe it is real. The belief was as low as 59 percent in 2010 and as high as 77 percent in 2006.

Thu
11
Jul

Grad ‘did college’ for a third of the debt


Cindy Bailey of Vadnais Heights put PSEO and community-college credits to good use. (submitted photo)

Century College alum Cindy Bailey is a poster child for how to do college and gain immediate employment with minimal debt.
Bailey, a Vadnais Heights resident, attended Century full time during her junior and senior years in high school as a Post-Secondary Enrollment Options student. After graduating from high school in 2010, armed with 56 Century College credits, Bailey advanced to Gustavus Adolphus College, focusing on mathematics and secondary education.

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