Viewpoints

Sat
02
Nov

Washington County 2014 budget

The county budget funds a diverse set of county services, from county roads and bridges to safety net services for elderly and disabled residents. We operate parks, libraries, administer elections, provide prosecution, protect public health and offer public safety protection to our communities. Much of what we do is required because of state and federal mandates. Not all mandates are bad, but if state and federal funding is not provided along with the mandates, the cost of providing that service is shifted to county property taxes.

Sat
02
Nov

How to dress babies

Last October, my daughter gave birth to a baby girl, and while in the hospital, she was instructed by the nurses about how to dress her baby during winter and summer seasons. I, as a new grandparent, found this to be enlightening since I had never heard these recommendations.

Mon
28
Oct

Why a newspaper column?

As a judge I really enjoy public outreach: speaking to citizens’ groups and school children; hosting a cable television show; and recording commentary on a local AM radio station. Recently I submitted article No. 100 (since November 2006) to newspapers in the eight counties of the 10th Judicial District. But why would a judge write a column for a newspaper? Isn’t that simply asking for criticism? A senior judge once suggested “you should keep your head down” like being in a foxhole on the front line.

Mon
28
Oct

Affordable Care Act: What do changes mean in your community?

Nearly everyone has heard of the Affordable Care Act by now, but you need not feel alone if you still want more of the facts.  You may have a parent, child, relative or friend able to enroll in an affordable insurance plan for the first time.  Or, you may just want to know you’re getting the best plan your money can buy.  After all, who wants to spend more than they have to keep their good health?
The goals of the ACA, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, are the “3 C’s,” Coverage, Cost and Care.  A fourth C, “Choice,” is a critical tenet of the ACA as well.

Sun
27
Oct

Sunrise, sunset

It’s a glorious autumn day; the sun is shining down on leaves that have turned lemon yellow, dusky orange and mahogany red.
As I pause every so often to gaze out a window, a few lines from a Rodgers and Hammerstein song run through my head:
“I’m as restless as a willow in a windstorm, I’m as jumpy as puppet on a string, ... I’m as busy as a spider spinning daydreams, I’m as giddy as a baby on a swing.”

Sun
27
Oct

Fighting flu

As the leaves turn their final shades of yellow, orange and maroon, we are all reminded of the fight that is right around the corner. Flu season is here, and it is time for a reminder on what to do to prevent it.
Influenza, which is commonly mistaken with the “stomach flu” or the “common cold,” is caused by a virus that attacks the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness and at times can lead to death. Symptoms come on quickly in the form of fever, cough, sore throat, headache, extreme tiredness, stuffed-up nose, and body aches.

Tue
22
Oct

Yes, domestic violence is ‘in our town’

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Every day in every district court in Minnesota, judges hear cases involving domestic violence. It could be a hearing for an order for protection against a spouse or significant other, or a criminal charge of domestic assault, or even a juvenile delinquency petition against a minor for assaulting a household member. Domestic violence touches thousands of homes in Minnesota every day, including where you live.

Thu
17
Oct

Breaking gridlock

Over the past several years, we’ve gotten a hefty dose of gridlock and grandstanding from politicians in Washington, D.C. – all at the expense of small businesses and middle class families.
Instead of putting aside their differences, lawmakers at our nation’s capitol caused the first federal government shutdown in over 15 years. As a result, hundreds of thousands of people are being hit with unnecessary economic pain and hardship. Workers are not getting paychecks, businesses are losing customers, and children from low-income families are being blocked from their classrooms.

Thu
17
Oct

Make some memory moments at the Smart Play Spot

Memory moments, have you had one? I’ve been having them all my life. They happen when I’m in the midst of a particularly pleasant experience and I think to myself, “I don’t want to forgetthis.” It’s not just remembering the event, but more; it’s recalling the sights and smells and sounds that go along with it as well!

Thu
17
Oct

St. Paul Ski Club holds Hall of Fame inductions — Myhras of Lake Elmo go in

It hadn’t snowed in months but that didn’t stop the storied St. Paul Ski Club from hosting its annual Hall of Fame induction ceremonies Sept. 14.
It was a festive affair at the North St. Paul American Legion hall, and three new members joined the ranks of those enshrined in the club, which traces its beginning back to 1885.

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