Viewpoints

Sun
24
May

At the old ballgame

There’s nothing like a trip to the old ballgame to make a guy feel, well, old.

I attended a Milwaukee Brewers-Chicago Cubs game recently, and found spending an afternoon with the boys of summer made me feel like an old man. And it wasn’t just because I had to stretch between innings to stave off lower back stiffness.

Nor is it merely because I, at 41, am older than all the players. It’s because I’m 20 years older than some of the players.

Sun
24
May

Battle Creek 8th graders work for cleaner water


Bryan Boreen
Battle Creek Middle School science teacher

Creek and community cleanup was the April 29 class agenda for a number of 8th grade science student at Battle Creek Middle School.

Sun
24
May

5 tips to pay off student loan debt

Money Management
MNCPA

Choosing an early withdrawal from your IRA can be a costly move, often resulting in unfavorable consequences such as tax penalties and loss of future growth. In an effort to discourage the early collection of designated retirement money during taxpayers’ working years, Uncle Sam imposes a 10-percent penalty in addition to one’s regular tax bill. A withdrawal made earlier than age 59½ could qualify for such a penalty unless an available exemption criterion is met.

Wed
20
May

Districts should be reimbursed for test glitches

State Sen. Chuck Wiger
District 43

The State Senate is scrambling to try to help school districts after yet more problems for schools trying to give students the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment.
The statewide student testing system used to administer the MCA’s test has failed repeatedly throughout this spring’s testing season. First there were technological problems administering the test, then testing was halted for a suspected hacking attempt.

Wed
20
May

Neonicotinoid Pesticides – Bad News for Pollinators

Actara, Platinum, Helix, Cruiser, Adage, Meridian, Centric, Flagship, Poncho, Titan, Clutch, Belay, Arena, Confidor, Merit, Admire, Ledgend, Pravado, Encore, Goucho, Premise, Assail, Intruder, Adjust and Calypso – clever names for deadly products. This partial list of neonicotinoid broad-spectrum pesticides are available for private and/or commercial use in Minnesota. Current research shows these products – in very small quantities – are deadly to many insects – and most alarmingly, also to our much needed and valued pollinators.

Wed
20
May

Senate passes bipartisan bill to promote nonprofit donations

State Sen. Barb Goodwin
District 41
I'm happy to report that the Minnesota Senate overwhelmingly passed one of my bills on Thursday, May 14, that would allow local governments to donate old or unused equipment. Rep. Carolyn Laine passed the bill in the MN House. Columbia Heights Fire Chief Gary Gorman brought the issue to our attention.
Under current law, local governments are required to sell extra equipment instead of donating it. However, government units often use specialized equipment that doesn't have a market value or alternative use. Sometimes new standards mean current equipment must be replaced. If not donated, this expensive equipment ends up in landfills.

Sun
17
May

Payne-Phalen community leaders step up at 2015 Payne Phalen Annual Meeting

Leslie McMurray
Director, Payne Phalen District Council

On Tuesday, April 28th, 2015 some 85 residents, business owners and public partners convened for the 2015 Payne Phalen District Five Planning Council Annual Meeting. The meeting was convened by Board President Darlene Adams who spoke of the forty years of District Five's active presence and influence in the Payne-Phalen neighborhood. District Five is governed by a 21-member community-elected Board and Directors serve 3-year terms. Seven open 3-year term seats and one partial 2-year term were filled at the Annual Meeting.

Sun
17
May

DNR Q & A: What’s the proper way to plant a tree?

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources field staff, resource managers and the DNR Information Center staff answer many questions every day about natural resources topics. Here is one of them:
Q. I’d like to plant a tree on my property and want to make sure it gets off to a good start. What are some tips for tree planting?

 

Sun
17
May

Session update from Sen. Katie Sieben

With under one month remaining in the 2015 Legislative Session, the work at the Capitol is focused on responsibly balancing the state’s budget. This task is made easier by the $1.86 billion surplus resulting from increased economic activity in Minnesota.
Minnesota continues to be a national leader in economic recovery following the recent recession. Thanks to responsible budgeting, we now have the opportunity to make wise investments that will put more jobs, money and opportunities in the hands of Minnesotans to continue this robust come-back.

Sun
17
May

Itching to avoid mosquito mayhem

To keep the flying insects at bay, Mary Lee Hagert’s son and husband donned mosquito nets during a picnic lunch. It was quite a feat to get the sandwiches into their mouths without also consuming a few mosquitoes. (submitted photo)
To keep the flying insects at bay, Mary Lee Hagert’s son and husband donned mosquito nets during a picnic lunch. It was quite a feat to get the sandwiches into their mouths without also consuming a few mosquitoes. (submitted photo)

It snowed on my birthday, again.
While that's nothing out of the ordinary for Minnesotans with birthdays between mid-November and mid-March, I'm always stunned when I look out the window and see snow falling from the heavens ... on my April birthday.
Granted, this year it was only snow flurries. But just the same, I couldn't help but wonder if those late-season snowflakes were really necessary.

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