Columns

Mon
29
Apr

High school project teaches financial life lessons

A staggering 220,000 or 4.1 percent of Minnesotans are “unbanked” and currently without access to a bank account.
As part of Financial Literacy Month, I visited Tartan Senior High School in Oakdale to tour the school’s newly-opened branch of the Postal Credit Union, the first credit union branch entirely run by students, to promote the importance of youth savings and financial education.

Thu
25
Apr

Addressing shrinking water supplies

DFL lawmakers in the Minnesota House of Representatives recently passed an Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture omnibus bill that included an amendment I authored to address shrinking water levels at White Bear Lake and other communities throughout Minnesota.
I cannot overstate the necessity of getting this problem under control.

Thu
25
Apr

Financial literacy education at work

The economy may be showing signs of improvement, but research shows employees are still not confident about their own financial situations.
In fact, according to the Federal Reserve, American workers spend an average of 28 hours a month stressing about finances. It’s a situation that can cost employers $5,000 a year per employee in lost productivity. Help for struggling employees may be right outside their cubicle through workplace financial education.

Thu
25
Apr

Minimum wage increase will hurt businesses and workers

One of the proposals moving through the legislature right now is a bill that would impose an increase in the minimum wage from $6.15 per hour to $9.00 for small employers and to $10.55 per hour for large employers.
The increase would come three stages with the new minimum wage level in place by August 2015. Every year after that, the minimum wage will be adjusted based on the annual increase in inflation. 

Mon
22
Apr

Gaining perspective during Crime Victims’ Week

Each year crimes such as murder, domestic violence, sexual assault, identity theft, auto theft and credit card fraud harm millions of Americans on a variety of levels, including physiological, physical, emotional, cognitive, financial, social and spiritual.
During National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. April 21-27, we remember the toll that crime takes on victims as well as their families and rededicate ourselves to preventing crimes while helping victims as they heal and rebuild their lives.

Fri
19
Apr

A chat about scat


Macy - the scat machine. (submitted photo)

Let’s be honest here. This spring hasn’t really been the greatest so far and I think that many of us Minnesotans are finally starting to see the allure in packing it all up and moving to California.
The snow in my yard has melted just enough to expose an ugly mix of wilted brown grass, mud and soggy leaves that have been buried all winter, though not enough yet to get rid of the miniature glaciers that still line our driveway and the edge of our street. The only one who seems immune to the dreary weather is our one-year old, who can entertain himself for several hours picking up sticks and splashing in 32.5° puddles.

Fri
19
Apr

Winter gets its walking papers

So much for February being the shortest month. Here in the Upper Midwest, it lasted a full 10 weeks.
This was the winter of our discontent, a seemingly never-ending barrage of snow flurries and icy winds so depressing most of us plugged in our electric socks and jumped into the nearest lake, ready to end it all. Fortunately, all the lakes were frozen.

Fri
19
Apr

High school project teaches financial life lessons

A staggering 220,000 or 4.1 percent of Minnesotans are “unbanked” and currently without access to a bank account.

As part of Financial Literacy Month, I visited Tartan Senior High School in Oakdale to tour the school’s newly-opened branch of the Postal Credit Union, the first credit union branch entirely run by students, to promote the importance of youth savings and financial education.

Thu
18
Apr

Judicial Review: Truth and burdens of proof

Sometimes people ask how I know who is telling the truth in court.  It surprises them to hear that I will likely never know the absolute truth.
While some people do lie in court, more often people simply see, remember, or re-tell things differently. Something happened. People saw it, heard it, were involved in it, or maybe even caused it. A dispute arose, lawyers were hired, and a lawsuit began.

Mon
15
Apr

Those talented birds are at it again


A parrot named Malachi paints a tableau at Midwest Avian Adoption and Rescue Services. (Photo courtesy of MAARS)

“Art in the Hollow,” the annual art fest in beautiful Swede Hollow Park, is revving up. With the event scheduled for Saturday, June 1 (10 AM to 5 PM), painters and other artists are busy creating new works.
Not all the painters are human. The talented parrots who sold their paintings to last year’s art crowd are working even more diligently than the humans. Parrots paint slowly, you see. You’d paint slowly, too, if you had to grip your pointy little brush with your toes or beak.

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