Columns

Fri
24
Jan

Bonding, water levels are high points and low points

This week, Governor Mark Dayton unveiled a $986 million statewide bonding proposal designed to create over 27,000 jobs and improve Minnesota’s public infrastructure.
I’m pleased Dayton’s proposal includes $2.02 million to renovate and repurpose existing space at Century College to better meet workforce training needs.
Century College is an invaluable asset to our community and our economy. We need to make sure students have access to a top-notch learning environment right now and into the future.

Fri
24
Jan

GreenStep Cities helps Oakdale reduce environmental impact

A resolution passed by the Oakdale City Council in March 2011 paved the way for the city to become a Minnesota GreenStep City—a program that provides technical assistance and recognition as cities implement sustainable development best practices. Now, nearly two years later, Oakdale has implemented 12 of the program’s 28 best practices to achieve Step 2 status (that happened, actually, last June). At the time, the city received written and in-person recognition from U.S. District 4 Representative Betty McCollum.

Fri
24
Jan

Swamp Stories

One Fourth of July evening several years ago, I woke up around 1 a.m. to a thunderous sound that went something like, “Screech, schwoop, bloop, bloop, bloop.” At the time, we were living in Savage near a sprawling wetland complex that was once part of the Credit River floodplain. Somehow, I knew with absolute certainty that the noise I had heard was the sound of a car driving off the highway and into the wetland. I hurriedly put in my contacts and ran outside, where a neighbor was already shining a flashlight into the fog looking for the car. I called 911, and after assuring the operator that no, actually I wasn’t calling to complain about loud fireworks, I said, “I think that a car just drove off the road and into the wetland.”

Fri
17
Jan

A Minnesotan’s Guide to Walking in the Winter

Remember standing, waiting for the school bus in the morning with your winter coat unzipped, gloveless hands in pockets, and, certainly, no hat on your head because that would mess up your hair? Buying my first pair of adult-sized snow pants and mukluks, two years after college, was a transformative experience. The world outside was suddenly a playground with animal tracks to follow, snowy hills to climb, and frozen ponds to cross. Adapting for the winter made everything so much better.

Fri
17
Jan

A new year, a renewed commitment to our neighbors in need

This month marks 50 years since President Lyndon Johnson declared a “war on poverty.” There were huge victories in that war during the following decade, but after that, the federal government reversed course, cut anti-poverty programs, and our national government effectively surrendered.

Fri
17
Jan

Discuss practical tax decisions with your college student

Now is the time for parents and college students to decide who claims whom on their 2013 federal and state tax returns. Surprisingly, it’s not just limited to minor children.

Thu
16
Jan

Bye Bye Phil, goodbye-eye


Phil and Don Everly, the heartthrobs of the late ‘50s and early ‘60s. (submitted photo)

Musician Phil Everly died last week.

Thu
16
Jan

It’s time to BuildMN

When the 2014 Minnesota State Legislative Session begins in February, you are going to be hearing a lot about a “bonding bill” and “capital investment.”
Capital investment is the process by which the state issues bonds to fund public projects that have a state or regional significance. This funding goes towards a variety of projects across the state including improvements to higher education buildings, roads and bridges, veterans homes and trails.

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.

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