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Tuesday, January 27, 2015 9:20 AM

The emphasis at the Capitol this legislative session is Greater Minnesota. Legislators from both parties and Gov. Mark Dayton have all been voicing their commitment to rural Minnesota this session.

  • It wouldn’t be surprising if data showed a large number of Americans searched the meaning of Brexit after Great Britain voted to exit the European Union last week. The decision by the United Kingdom has global implications as financial markets tumbled, putting a dent in retirement funds for millions of Americans, and raising the threat of a looming recession.

  • As many of you have probably heard by now, my sister, Joanna, is going on a mission trip to Guatemala this summer. You might have seen the article published here about the fundraiser she created to raise money for drilling a well in the village she and my mom would be visiting. I know some of you donated and I’d like to thank you for helping make fresh water a reality for this village. It really means a lot to them — and to Joanna!

  • This past week I’ve eaten more than my share of the strawberry harvest. My parents’ neighbors had a beautiful crop this year and my mother, a few friends and I did our part to utilize every single sweet berry. My consumption was simple – a bowl of berries topped with real whipped cream every night after supper. A few made it into my breakfast one day, but mostly, I just enjoyed the berries in their natural state, fresh off the farm.

  • Bluff Country has gained a couple distilleries, a vineyard, a hard cider production plant and plans for a brewery in the past five years. It may seem like a new trend, but the developments actually harken back to a century ago when breweries were located in several area towns and a distillery produced rye whiskey in Forestville.

  • In the 16 years that Dad has been keeping bees in the backyard, we’ve gotten used to having them around. We don’t flip out anymore when they fly around our faces (although when they get caught in long hair that’s another story). But one of the hazards of keeping bees on the property is that the chances of getting stung go way up. We’ve learned to watch our step in the yard and to give the beehives a wide berth when the bees are going back and forth. Still, stings happen.

  • A recent Saturday was super-hot with a heat index of around 100 degrees. It made for good weather to kick off the swimming pool season, but not so much for other outdoor activities.

  • When Sen. Al Franken visited Kingsland two weeks ago, he was interested in talking about science, technology, engineering and science (STEM). However, the conversation kept drifting into other areas, ranging from American culture to creativity. That’s what happens when you include faculty from the art, music and English departments in a roundtable.

  • While everyone else is getting some time off and enjoying their summer vacation, the Clan is still at it.

  • A Polish proverb says, "When opportunity knocks, some people are out in the backyard looking for four-leaf clovers."

  • U.S. Sen. Al Franken showed his wit, geographic knowledge and artistic skills Friday during a stop at Kingsland Public School. Kingsland graduating seniors also got a chance to probe his mind for insight on his job, his relationships with others, his opinions and even his comedy.

  • My family is into games. This explains why my grandma has so many card games, dice games, and tabletop games to play with us. But we’re picky about the games we play, and I’m not just talking about board games here. We like playing lawn game too, but we have standards.

  •  Having been back in Minnesota now for a little over two weeks, I have gotten back into my Arizona habit of getting out on the trail most mornings. Right off I was enjoying what seemed like a whole new world, with both differences and similarities.

  • Law enforcement officers are, at times, met with suspicion and distrust, given the recent high profile incidents involving encounters that have resulted in the deaths of people who didn’t deserve that unhappy ending. At least, on a national level, that seems to be the theme.

  • The Clan has a reputation for being a handy source of working kids. My siblings and I have been doing jobs for neighbors and family friends for years, and in doing so have made quite a bit of money for ourselves. We’ve been hired out for a lot of different jobs, but the big one, the one we anticipate all year long, is rock-picking.

  • Do you like to read? I hope so, it’s the path to knowledge and you might learn something. I’m not as big a fan of books, as I am the newspaper, daily and weekly. One particular article that I really like, and read most faithfully, is our own For The Birds by Al Batt. He writes about birds, but he also gets into other topics, much like I do, and much like I’m doing right now. I like his sense of humor and his take on life, in general. 


Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, one of the state’s largest health care insurers, announced it would no longer be selling plans to individuals and families in Minnesota starting in 2017. Are you worried about how this could affect your coverage?


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