The long awaited spring has finally arrived. Goodbye snow and icy roads, dreary days spent indoors, and abundant layers of clothes. Hello mud. Mud is an inevitable part of spring, but it can be a big problem for local lakes and streams when it doesn’t stay put on the land. Active building sites can be particularly problematic, even when they’re relatively small. Dirt can wash into wetlands, as well as storm sewers that connect to nearby lakes and streams, clouding the water and smothering fish spawning areas. The dirt is often rich in phosphorus as well, which translates into algae blooms in lakes and wetlands later in the summer.
It has been a busy week around the Capitol. Legislation to honor slain Mendota Heights Police Officer Scott Patrick took an important first step. The list of the State’s best schools came out. And the legislature narrowed over 2,000 bills down to about 400 that merit further consideration.
Signs of spring abound here in late March. Robins are returning and children are riding bikes around the neighborhood, where Old Man Bromley is using his first bonfire of the year to destroy all evidence of his doomed NCAA tournament bracket. Neighbors eager to let fresh air inside suddenly shut their windows to block out the smell of charred paper and the sound of my exasperated cursing.
“Pete and Julie” were desperate to sell their timeshare. They rarely used it and the fees kept rising. When a “broker” called and claimed her client was interested in buying, Pete and Julie were eager to know the details. Pete and Julie hesitated when the broker asked them to pay a fee for the sale expenses, but the broker insisted that her client was anxious to close the sale and the money would be refunded.
Recently a citizen I know who has run a business and served in political office observed one of our criminal court sessions.
The citizen said, “Not much happened, just continuing cases two or three months.”
The intimation was that a lot of tax dollars are going to waste because not much is being accomplished at these court appearances.
Even this Lego house has a rain barrel. You can purchase one of your own at the Washington Conservation District’s annual tree and rain barrel sale on April 24 and 25. (submitted photo)
At 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 25 – Lake Elmo area police are called to the Washington County Fairgrounds after a crowd of local residents swarms conservation district staff during their annual tree and rain barrel sale. Witnesses report that a woman in a tan station wagon leapt out of her car yelling, “No more winter, ever, ever again!” Shortly thereafter, people began jostling one another as they raced to scoop up bundles of trees, rain barrels and compost bins. One man tripped over a weed wrench as he rushed to ask a master gardener about emerald ash borer, and in the ensuing confusion, a rack of informative brochures was knocked to the ground.
Over the past few decades tree diseases such as chestnut blight, Dutch elm disease, and white pine blister rust have received large amounts of attention for their destructive nature and detrimental effects. In many areas, large, beautiful boulevard trees lining city streets have been removed in an attempt to slow the spread of such diseases. Another disease that has become increasingly recognized recently, even though it has been around a long time, is oak wilt.